1.04 – Yourself, No One Else

It’s been preached at you over and over again until you’re quite certain your head will simply explode just from your own magnificence. Be true to yourself. We’ve all been told to over and over again. Be yourself. We’ve heard it so many times from the time we were tiny things all the way through adulthoods.

And yet, we still have to be told.

Chuck Wendig wrote a very explicit blog about being true to yourself as an artist, and letting yourself be present in your work. Apparently, what prompted his latest tirade littered with bad language used in the most exquisite manner was someone that took a lot of time and fancy words to express their discontent with how Chuck Wendig writes.

Because in this day and age of the Internet where anything is possible and the world is literally at our fingertips, we have nothing better to do than tell someone everything we found wrong with them and the work they poured their heart and soul into.

This is true, y’all. You know it is. Anyway.

Instead of just throwing a bunch of curses at the commenter’s head, Chuck instead decided to be productive and use the opportunity to tell writers to be true to their own process and art. I’m working on it, Chuck, I’m working on it! You can read his blog here: Terrible Minds.

As a writer who has identified as such since I was in middle school, there have always been voices telling me what I should do and who I should be. This is the year I officially give those voices the finger. As Lzzy says “I promise to myself, me and no one else, I am more than this…” After I published Shadows Rising at the beginning of 2014, I had people telling me what I should do next. Namely, they told me I should have already had a sequel ready to go. That I should write faster, publish more and more so I could make the money.

That felt…wrong. Even if self-publishing was that easy (and I know some gals who could tell you very quickly how hard it really is), the idea of galloping off down that racetrack made me hesitate. Then I got a real job and the debate was slowed down even further, dragging out until this past summer. That was when I finally decided I did not want to go down that road. I did not even want to think about it anymore. I just wanted a regular job and to write on the side for fun, for me. That may seem like a slap in the face of every writer out there struggling, fighting the good fight of publication and marketing and blogs and giveaways, but the truth is just simply I have to do my thing. I happily support my fellow writers, but I am going to be defined by my own self, by my own wants and needs.

I am going to be the writer I am, the writer I want to be, not what other people want me to be. I’m also just grateful for anyone who takes the time to read my work, either because you read it here, you bought my novella, or because I handed you something I’ve handwritten. I’ve been very blessed in this life and I think 2016 is going to be the best yet.

Thanks for reading. Carolina Kel, over and out.

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