The view from the other side of “published”

My debut book has been out in the world for six weeks now. It’s been read and reviewed, and received better than I ever dared to hope. I am a published author now.

I’ve always known that this was only the first step of this road; that I was going to do everything in my power to learn and grow and work hard every day, because writing books and making a living as an author is my dream and my goal. So I knew. I still know.

Except now, from the other side of “published,” when the excitement of the virtual book tour is behind me and the obsessive need to check Goodreads ratings five times a day is slowly abating, that plan has become more than determination and a goal. As I work on my second novel, start taking notes for my third, and try to work out a proper schedule of writing every day, I realize, perhaps for the first time with such understanding, what it means that I’m working on making a career as an author.

– It means that writing every day can’t be an option, but a priority.
– It means that while working on several things at the same time is fine, the original novels take precedence over the fandom stories and need to be tackled first in my daily schedule.
– It means that no matter how hard it is sometimes to juggle freelance translation projects, teaching, parenting, and writing, it’s no excuse. Nothing is an excuse; if I want it, I have to make time, find energy, and work to get it. Every day.
– It means that while social media is hard for my chaotic, introverted mind to keep up with regularly, that’s not an excuse either. I won’t ever be perfect, but I have to try and try again.
– It means working through some long-ingrained beliefs, doubts and inhibitions, carving a schedule for my procrastinating self (and sticking to it!), and demanding respect for my writing time and space from my loved ones.
– It means fighting my anxiety every day.
– It means doing this crazy, beautiful thing step by step, in little changes, leaps of faith, and feats of courage.

I knew all this – I thought  I knew all this before. But I feel it more now, somehow. No longer like I’m just playing with something I love, but more like I’m taking this love and weaving a life out of it, a little bit every day. And it’s scary just as much as it’s exhilarating. It will overwhelm me time and again, I know; I will disappear into my stories or my thoughts for a few weeks, and I will come back.

But one thing I know for certain. I’m here to stay. No matter how hard it may be.

Hello World

For the last few weeks, I’ve been obsessing about the first post on this website. It had to be important, my perfectionism claimed. It had to be just right, deep and smooth and meaningful. In effect, I posted nothing, overwhelmed with the pressure.

Next week I’m going to Paris, to do research for my second novel. I’m excited, and I want to be able to share it here, on my official website. And to do that, I have to get it all started and running before I go. So here it is, the first post – not perfect, not drafted and redrafted several times, but here. (By the way, perfectionism – my old nemesis – is a subject I will be coming back to, time and again.)

So hi, my name is Kate and I write stories. My first novel, an m/m love story called Love Starved, is coming out with Interlude Press in the second quarter of 2015. I hope to be able to share the cover soon, because it’s stunning. I’m going to talk a lot about this novel here as the publication date approaches, sharing anecdotes, inspirations and teasers.

I’m also writing a few other stories – it’s never just one with me – and they will have their own categories and their own posts eventually. I may ramble about writing in general from time to time, or post drabbles and additional content for my stories.

I’m looking forward to developing this little corner of the Internet, making it cozy and inviting, and to seeing where this journey takes me. Step by step. See you on the road!