UtopYA and Me

Last week at this time I was at UtopYA and in the middle of sessions, getting all kinds of advice on swag, and traditional vs. indie publishing, and how the NA genre is taking over the world.

It was fantastic.

I loved every single minute of it.

Ok, I say that. But for real, there were some serious moments of insecurity throughout the weekend!

And how could there not have been???

I was surrounded by NY Times best selling authors, and women who have thousands and thousands of fans and write beautiful words at entirely different levels of genius than me.

And I'm saying that to you as fact. Those are facts. I'm not being hard on myself.

At the same time I was really inspired to create something that could compare to the greatness around me, I was also completely intimidated.

And that's Ok with me. I mean, in those moments I probably struggle with low self-esteem, but honestly I look at it like a growing experience.

If I never felt inadequate, I would never push myself to be more than adequate.

If I never felt intimidated by other's creative genius, I would never demand creative genius from myself.

I would become complacent and stagnant.

And I can't have that.

I don't just write because it is INSIDE of me to write. I am forever digging deeper to be better, to write better, to create something BETTER.

So I need that. I NEED to be humbled.

Thank goodness I can be humbled by the sweetest, most generous people on earth that don't even know they're doing it.

Indie writers are the greatest people in the world. They really, really are. And if you haven't dived into this world yet, I have about two hundred recommendations for you to start with!!! :)

Anyway, as fabulous as it was to get to know other authors and spend time with them, I learned some things about myself over the weekend that I thought I would share with you!

First, I might not be a NY Times best seller, but I am IN LOVE with my characters and my stories. They say to just write the story that's inside of you and that is enough. Well, for me it's more than enough. It's my barest definition of success. Would I like to be a best seller?? Absolutely. One day. Maybe when my kiddies aren't so tiny and I have time to handle the fall out from being a best seller. For right now I am very, very content with where I'm at. I'm not ready for those big lists. I just want to get my kids through the day without forgetting every single important thing. And as long as I am allowed to publish these stories that are written across my soul, and etched into every fiber of my being than I am going to be Ok.

More than Ok.

Thank you to everyone who reads them. You are just more than words can say. You make me speechless. Which is really, really hard to do.... :)

Second, I am the worst author ever!!!! And I don't mean that like in this poor me, compliment me kind of way!!! No. For real!! I mean it in the.... there are so many authors out there that actually have their lives together and know what the heck they're doing!!!! And then there's me. I'm all, what?? There's a website that actually takes down your pirated books??? Because for sure it's too much work for me, so my attitude has been, good job for finding it for free, I hope you enjoy!!! Lol, which is the WRONG attitude to have when you're trying to make a money off SELLING your books. Or Blog Tours. Do you guys know what those are??? Because I definitely have NEVER done one. Not ever. This is where I give all my bloggers that I love all of my respect and devotion, because they are so good to me when I have been completely obtuse in this world. And the list goes on and on. Swag??? What the heck!!! I have t-shirts. That got buried. And I forgot about for a total of six months. And that's it. These people have pins and mirrors and bookmarks and postcards and totebags and tattoos and jewelry and so much more. Oh my.

One day I'll get my life together.

Ok, that's probably not true. Last week I bounced two checks because I forgot to transfer money. Yep, me, the almost 30 yr. old, mom of four, small-business owning airhead. Yikes.

Believe me when I say, world domination was never attained by someone who when we were driving down the interstate and saw a truck with a floor fan blowing in the back, asked her husband why in the world they would plug in a fan just to blow out the back of a moving vehicle. He was all, Uh... Rachel? That's because it's on a moving truck. It's not actually plugged in. The movement spins the blades. Do you understand how wind works??

Third, I am blessed. So blessed. Blessed beyond words blessed. I don't technically have co-workers, but I do have peers. And I am just amazed at the caliber of awesome that are my peers. If you haven't read M. Leighton, Samantha Young, Shelly Crane, Lila Felix, Amy Bartol, Georgia Cates, Angeline Kace, Quinn Loftis, Nancy Straight, A.M. Hargrove, or Rebecca Ethington, you NEED to do that now. Like right now. If not for their fantastic books, which let me just say are absolutely fantastic, but because they are some of the greatest people I get to know. And they are much better to their fans than I am... Ahem.

Fourth, I know that I should hold back some. Like, not put it ALL out there. Kind of like this blog... Ahem. But I'm sorry, that's just not me. I'm not in a different place than my readers. I am one of my readers. And not in like this self-actualization, we are all one with the Universe way. But in this very real, I'm a mom too, I'm just trying to get through the day too, I'm ditzy, and lost and weird too!! Ok, maybe I'm weirder than most... Lol. But for real! On my blog I can watch the stats of each post. And I know that when I post about my actual books, those posts do a HUNDRED times better. Seriously, hundreds of times better. And when I post about my life, they're not nearly as popular. But for me, I can't separate the two. I just cannot. I was trying to be better at it though, but then ever since UtopYA I've had several of you just thank me for being relatable. And that's what I'm about. We are in this together ladies. Together.

I originally started writing with this very concrete idea of reaching teenage girls with a strong heroine and a realistic love story that is very revealing to how hurtful love can be, how hard it is to work at and how much of a choice you have in it.

And while that is still part of my goal. My readership was never just teenage girls. In fact, the majority are moms like me. Moms with real life problems and kid craziness, and a big old house to keep cleaned!! 

And I like that. I love your notes, that are like, I love your books, but I have a two year old and let me tell you.... He drew all over my house with sharpie too!!!!!!

Or is that just me???

Anyway, the me part of my social media will never go away. I just can't separate myself from the author in me.

Sorry guys!!! I'll still do Giveaways and teasers and all that goodness too!! They will just be mixed in between the other life stuff.

Fifth and finally, I learned that all of this is going to be Ok. And even if it's not... I still have the voices in my head to comfort me. That has to count for something right??

Yeah, like maybe I should go take my crazy pills. :) 


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