After my thrust into full-time author status, I decided now is the time to go back and revisit old stories. (Revisit meaning, clean them up.)
Because I’m working on book 4 of the Siren Series now, I started this process with Siren’s Call.
Here is what I’ve learned after finishing the first book.
Boy, have I grown!
Siren’s Call originally released in 2014. And in the seven years since publishing that book, I’ve grown so much as a writer. I literally CRINGED at what I read. At first, I considered this may be a sign that writing is not for me. But after I got over my self-loathing, I looked at myself in the mirror (Issa Rae style) and had a little talk.
You are a bad bitch! You didn’t pick up a story you wrote nearly a decade ago and go, “Oh, yep! Perfect!” You recognized the errors, which means you’ve grown! And now you’re putting in the work to make sure new readers have a better experience when they step into the world YOU created. It means that you didn’t waste your money on all those “How to be a better writer” books. It also means that you get to keep doing what you love because you’re damn good at it!
Recently I’ve had quite a few people come to me asking for guidance in this publishing game. To be honest, I looked over my shoulder, sure that they meant those questions to someone else. Clearly I wasn't qualified enough to give advice. It’s not like I’m sitting on books that make me millions each year.
But I’m totally manifesting those numbers for myself!
And there is that self-doubt I’ve been battling. We all know it. Imposter Syndrome at its finest. That little voice that whispers in the back of your mind that you aren’t good enough and eventually, everyone is going to find you out! You’ll be embarrassed, standing there with egg on your face as they all point and laugh.
The truth is not nearly as dramatic.
Here’s the truth. Over the ten years I’ve been in publishing, I’ve learned a lot of valuable information. Information that I’m happy to share with others. I’ve honed my skills and the author that I was a decade ago would cheer her ass off for me today. Am I perfect, no. I still have more to learn and I will continue gobbling up as much information as I can so that I continue to improve.
But when I tell you, it felt so amazing to watch a story I’ve always loved transform into something better. It was encouraging and helped me stomp that imposter bitch to the ground one more time. (She always comes back for more, but I’m getting a lot better in the ring!)
So off I go to work my magic on Siren’s Test and to prepare the next episodes of Books & Bonnets.
Moral of the story: Growth happens, even when you’re not looking. Keep pushing. Keep writing.