I met Ana a few months ago through some mutual friends of ours. Quite by accident, though as it turns out our friends had wanted to introduce us for a while. *laughs* For good reason, it seems, because I’ve found her to be a kindred spirit. Not in the least because she’s as crazy as I am! *grins and winks* But in part because she also loves Harry Potter and trust me, she writes some awesome urban fantasy!
When K.B. asked if I would be willing to write a guest post for Black Ink, White Paper, I was both overjoyed and extremely nervous. I have my own blog (http://anaquana.blogspot.com/), but I rarely ever post to it because I never know what to write or if people even care about what I’m writing. In light of that, I cheesed out and asked K.B. to simply send me the interview questions. But then, as I was hard at work answering said questions, I realized I was going about it all wrong.
I’ve only just met K.B., but in the short time I’ve known her, I’ve come to see that she is the embodiment of pushing one’s self to the limit and beyond. So, I’m borrowing a bit of her spirit today and pushing past my comfort zone and writing an actual post instead of just answering a few questions.
Two weeks ago, I watched the live-stream of the red carpet premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and I bawled my eyes out. Partly because I’m a sap and this wonderful franchise which has shaped my life in so many ways for the last decade has reached a grand finale. It’s thanks to the Harry Potter fandom that I’m writing this guest blog. If not for a mutual friend whom I met through the Harry Potter slash-fiction community, I would probably never have met K.B. She is only one of numerous blessings bestowed upon me because of my love of Harry Potter.
The other reason I was so moved to tears was because of my own feelings of inadequacy. I watched as these masses of people screamed and cried and rejoiced in the presence of J.K. Rowling and the actors who portrayed her characters, and I despaired of ever being good enough to write something that has touched the lives of so many people.
I don’t care about the fame and fortune. In all honesty, I’m far too shy to be comfortable with the idea of book signings and being on panels at conventions. No, what I want to do is make a difference in somebody’s life through my writing. Is that the height of hubris? Maybe, but that’s the reason I write and strive so hard to be published.
That is until that Friday. That Friday I thought very long and very hard about giving up. I thought about packing up my pens and notebooks and deleting all of my Word documents. Because really? What was the point of continuing if I was never going to accomplish what I set out to do?
I know all of you who are reading this are probably shaking your heads and tsking at me, but here’s the thing: it was important that I let myself experience those feelings of inadequacy and failure. I needed to internalize them, sort through them, and let my inner-self decide in its own time that those feelings weren’t worthy of me. Because, while my head is smart enough to know that, of course, I’ll never succeed if I give up before the end, my inner-self is like a small, whiny child that knows no sense of reason. And it’s going to throw a tantrum whether it’s the sensible thing to do or not. Once my inner-self was done with its pity-party, I got right back to writing.
Sometimes we just need to give in and have ourselves a good old-fashioned pity-party complete with cake, ice cream, balloons, and most important of all, a piñata. Have yourself a cry. Chuck your notebooks into a (clean) garbage can. Move your writing files to the recycling bin (please, dear reader, do NOT empty it). Let your inner-self live the reality of giving up if even for just a little while. I bet you anything the little brat’ll wise up and shut up real fast. Then you can retrieve your notebooks and restore your files and balance will be restored.
Ana Ramsey* is a crazy cat lady cum author repped by the fabulous Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She just recently finished rewrites on her first novel. Where Demons Fear to Tread is the first in an urban fantasy series set in a world populated by all manner of Fey creatures, vampires, shapeshifters, and demons. She can usually be found lurking on Twitter (@anaquana) or gallivanting around the world from the comfort of her chair.
*Name changed to protect the guilty