I'm such a trouble-maker.
There it was, all positive and sunny, THE BOOK OF AWESOME. Simple little things to make people feel so good, without ever harming a soul.
Well I wouldn't stand for it.
Because of who I am.
This snarky, self-depricating parody of myself...so...I had to write a parody.
THE BOOK OF AWFUL goes through one (ridiculously) dreadful scenario after the next, to remind you how much worse life could really be. Head lice is mentioned. And deceitful online dating. As well as nose hair if it grew to unlimited lengths.
Truly terrible things.
So how did it go from ideas to publication?
Because I let it.
I had a literary agent at the time, and she was busy trying to sell my debut chick-lit book (which ultimately didn't sell, but maybe I'll publish it myself some day!). I shared my new idea, and while she liked the sample posts from THE BOOK OF AWFUL, she was concerned that people wouldn't "get it".
Well what's NOT to "get" about how awful life would be...if unicorns were discovered as being real and then distributed to mankind but then cloned and then watered down so that the poor people only got the crappy derivative unicorns leading to social unrest and then a revolution?
Or who HASN'T ever gotten head lice as a grown adult (true story), then wondered what would happen if there wasn't even a cure (they put you in a bubble, and your boyfriend can only caress you via rubberized protective "glove arms").
Needless to say, she was only on board if I flooded the entire book with pop culture and celebrity references.
While there is some of that to be sure, I still wanted the freedom to express my concerns over what we would do if legal tender was switched to shrunken monkey heads, rendering all attempts at making counterfeit money unsuccessful.
And so, with inspiration alight in my crazy brain and no assurance of finding an audience, I wished my agent well and we parted ways.
I may have never been so bold if the opportunity of self-publishing didn't exist. Yet here we are in a brave new world, where you can write from the heart or write from insanity, forever knowing that if an audience exists...you can put yourself out there and see if they'll find you.
In my self-publishing experience, it's a glorious surprise when ANY stranger reads my book description and decides to purchase, and in these first three months of publication...it's gradually happening more and more! This of course means I'm reaching people with my words, even if they're mentally unstable words.
So the next time you feel stifled by the first draft or third draft woes, just remember: find the place you first started, the place where you loved writing, where inspiration was free of marketing techniques, and where you were happy with your word creation.
Because who you write for, ultimately (unless your only goal is to "sell, sell, sell"), is yourself.