So, this Be Brave Friday is on the last Friday of 2021 and I’m starting a whole lot of scary stuff this year.
Scary Stuff I’m Starting
- I’m starting my own classes to teach people online about writing and they are super cheap because I want people to be able to learn even when they aren’t wealthy. Yes, this makes me worried about my own bank account. That’s why it’s being brave. 🙂
- We’re revisioning the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and starting a new one called WRITE BETTER NOW.
- I’m been writing poetry on Medium and I’m going to keep writing it, but also sharing it in a podcast. CARRIE DOES POETRY. I couldn’t think of a cool title.
- I’m going to keep writing and not give up. Sometimes, I think that’s the bravest thing of all.
But since it’s the end of 2021, it’s also a time where I should be brave and reflect for a hot second. This is the year I wrote too much.
I decided to have an experiment and try to put out one novel a month, every month, all year long. And I did it.
But at what cost?
Probably at the cost of my brain. No! No. Just kidding.
I learned that:
- The pressure to write does keep me writing, but I also learned that 50,000-75,000 words times 12 months? It’s a lot of words. Especially if you add in what I do on my patreon.
- I’m still not good with criticism.
- I’m terrible at marketing my own books.
- That I miss doing things like going outside.
- I miss painting.
- I should have used a pen name to not impact my traditional publishing career. Oops.
- I’m really good with deadlines and pressure. Thank you former newspaper career.
- I really really need to write sex scenes. And I really really haven’t.
And I also learned that:
- I still love writing.
- I miss writing things that are a bit less genre and I can’t do that in a fast turn-around. I have two, really complicated stories that I want to get done and I haven’t had time to do that.
- Writing adult novels is fun. And I apparently need to put in sex scenes. Yes. I am repeating this. Who knew? Not this uptight human.
The Bad Things About Writing Too Much
But the big thing is that I maybe wrote too much. Because I didn’t just write and revise my own novels, I wrote blog posts and podcasts and editorial letters for the writers I edit, mentor, and coach, and that? It turned out to be a lot of writing.
My typing fingers ache a little bit.
And I’ve gotten in a bit of a rut from my self-imposed experiment and the pressure of doing one big novel a month and getting it out there.
And I started thinking, “Keep producing. Hurry. Make it good. It isn’t good enough. Oh my freaking word, Carrie. Earn money to support the family. HURRY! HURRY!”
Which has made me:
- More anxious
- More cranky
- Even more obsessed about making enough money.
- Very American, I think.
Sounds healthy, right?
And I’ve had some big fails.
- Our Be Brave Stories podcast (where we share other people’s stories about being brave) has floundered because I didn’t market it enough to get people to actually SHARE their stories.
- I’ve failed to solicit sponsorships for our other podcasts.
- As I’ve recently mentioned, I totally failed about marketing anything and everything.
- I haven’t done nearly enough author-to-author podcasts.
- I haven’t done nearly enough painting or poems.
- I haven’t magically owned a book store.
- I never say things like, “Hey! If you appreciate this podcast episode or blog post, send me a $1. I know it feels like nothing to you, but it means everything to me.” I think this is because one set of my grandparents lived in Canada and I somehow got the “DO NOT EVER ASK FOR MONEY GENE.”
- I am at my body’s maximum density (for me) because I sit in the chair way too much.
- I suddenly look old. And my knees hurt. And my hips hurt. And my ego hurts. Like it snuck up on me. Is this from squinting at the computer too much?
- I am still not any braver. I mean, I try so hard to do things that I am afraid to do and I do them all the time, but I haven’t become any less anxious about putting books out, talking on podcasts, or writing the books of my heart.
Here’s the thing though: If you love something, you need to do it. If you want to make a living at something, you need to find people who support you doing that. If you are making a living at it (like I am), you need to remember to be thankful and gasp in the moments where things are going well and allow yourself to be happy.
I am very bad at that.
It’s good to experiment, to push boundaries and to also take stock and say: Um. Maybe twelve novels in twelve months isn’t the best idea? And change it up to six. 🙂
How about you? Brave things going on? New leaps? New adventures? New worries? Am I alone?
My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?
It’s super fun.