Crissa-Jean Chappell was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER (HarperTeen) NARC (Flux Books) MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH (Flux Books) and SNOWBIRDS (Simon & Schuster). Next up: SUN DON’T SHINE (Fitzroy Books, spring 2024). When she misses South Florida, she talks to the parrots in Green-Wood Cemetery.
KELLY PARRA is a California author of novels and short stories for both teens and adults. She has created memorable characters for Simon & Schuster, Carina Press, and Scholastic in the genres of urban fantasy, romance, and diverse fiction. She divides her time between her writing, creative hobbies, and spending time with her family.
Recently, I was feeling out of touch from other authors and the sharing of the joys of writing. I’d read some unhappy news on-line, and I wanted to see more light and positivity on the aspects of writing and life.
And this is how Grateful, Joyful Authors came to be, where authors can share how they find joy in these changing times.
I’ve invited a few authors, who will be sharing their joys and gratefulness.
Maybe that title doesn’t really make sense. Fear and writing? Like fearing to write? Like running from the computer screen as it stalks you in your nightmares?
The only way to explain it is to tell you that I had a lot of fear as a writer when I first became a published author. I had fear that no one would like my books. Or that I wouldn’t be able to keep my career going. Or that no one would like me?
Don’t even get me started on public speaking. My palms would literally sweat, standing in front of a group of people. My stomach would twist into knots. I always felt like I was heading into the unknown and I didn’t know what crazy thing would happen next.
It sounds strange reading it, but fear is a real thing. And it doesn’t happen to everyone. I think taking into account your upbringing can even play a part of how fear affects your life.
Let’s just say, I didn’t always have the best support system growing up. I was raised in a broken home, and while I had tons of extended family, I never felt safe as I drifted from town to town, always feeling like the outsider. So you see how things can be carried with you as an adult.
It took me years and years, to balance out my fears. Not until now, in my forties. I can see that fear is just magnified energy that we harbor, basically from the past. I know, very Freudian of me.
Looking back, I can see how I sabotaged my first few years of being a published author. I sold two books, parted with my agent, sold another book, and then nothing for a few years. I was on the verge of giving up entirely because I thought my fears were true!
Oh, dear, Kelly.
I’m just glad those feelings have quieted. Sure, I get a little hiccup every now again, but I talk myself off the fear train and get back to work.
Firstly, it’s okay to be afraid of sharing your work. Our fears are often bigger than the reality.
True, not everyone is going to love your stories! I see bestselling authors get bad reviews. There is just no way to please everyone.
If you have a dream, don’t let fear overcome you like a dark, venomous force, sucking your dreams dry.
Believe in yourself, even if you don’t have someone else who does. And write for the love of it. Think positive thoughts and squash that fear like the big, scary, stinky bug that it is.
I was an avid blogger back oh, let’s say 15 years ago. I was just breaking onto the writer scene. An avid romance reader, small business owner as an illustrator, with two wee-little kids. I knew nothing about publishing. Other writers found me and then I had a bunch of writer friends traveling along with me on my road to hopefully one day land a writer contract.
And I did!
And then it fell through. The line closed.
But that’s a different story.
Blogging started to quiet down, until writers banded together for group blogging and that was fun. We supported each other and promoted each other’s books.
Soon that faded away, too.
What can I say, things come in cycles and I’ve started blogging again. It’s a form of self-expression, and I’ve learned that I need to express myself at times in my life. Through different mediums of art—graphic arts, fiber art, taking photos, and of course, writing stories!