If you’re anyone who knows me personally, you pretty much know that I’m an open wound. My psyche is easily influenced by negativity. My whole body responds to it. I get sick. My head aches. I have months-long bouts of insomnia. And lately, a new development LEG CRAMPS.
Words fail me in my attempt to explain how NOT AWESOME that last one is…
On top of all this, my creativity suffers which furthers the spiral into oblivion.
Heh, and just writing all that makes me feel extremely naked.
Yuck. Fee-fees. I don’t like ’em.
Anyway, I don’t know how many of you have been reading Not So Soft. I think I did a blog post explaining why I wanted to make it a blog serial back in April (which was my first self-imposed deadline). I met the deadline but what I wrote was complete and utter shit. I know you think I’m exaggerating, but it was a dumpster fire. FOR REALS.
Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit.
It was really just the last four scenes that sucked donkey balls. But they were four pivotal scenes which dragged the whole thing down.
So I deleted them.
And I’m not talking about my usual cut and paste into the scrap files delete. I deleted them from this earth. Banished them to the ether of forgottenness. I did this and felt no regrets. THAT IS HOW SHITTY THEY WERE.
After I deleted, I tried to rewrite it based on the outline I’d already written and rewritten. I was stuck on the idea of finishing it the way I *thought* it needed to be finished. This story thought different of my plans and refused to be cowed. I relented. Well, not exactly relented. I told the story to fuck off and lived my life.
In other words, I avoided the fuck out of that shit and focused on other things. Things that were easier to finish.
But like a true “book baby,” Not So Soft nagged in the back of my mind. I had to finish it.
So first I decided to remove the pressure by not selling it. From the beginning, I knew I had two shortish stories to write in THE LUST DIARIES world before I write the last full-length novel. Let’s just call this a hugely ADD approach to my already super-detailed plotting process. It wasn’t enough for me to write it in the timeline and move on. I HAD TO KNOW HOW IT PANNED OUT TO MOVE ON. Knowing that I couldn’t write anything else until this shit was done, removing the need to sell it helped things TREMENDOUSLY. I acknowledge that this is a lot of wasted time focused on something that won’t make me money…or at least won’t make money in and of itself. But the best thing I’ve gained in this is more views to this here blawg and an increase in followers on Instagram (which is where I chose to focus this past few months). So, no regrets. Removing the pressure to sell made it easier for the words to flow. It also made it easier to plot my next full-length novel, The Truth of Things, Ava’s story. Which brings me back to the title of this blog post.
The Truth of Things is the first time I’ve decided to tackle current events in a novel. Yes, I touch on a few things in The Lust Diaries, but nothing like this. This novel is focused around the subject of police brutality, a bit of street harassment, and a lot of what happens between two people who grew up in different socioeconomic environments but share the same skin.
Oh…and the hero is a cop.
It’s heavy for me. But I really feel like I need to tackle it because I’m feeling so much anxiety about it. I have two black sons who are out in the world right now and I sincerely fear for them. So maybe my perspective will be something someone needs to understand our perspective. Or the something that someone needs to stay strong and deal with all of this bullshit.
I acknowledge that this is triggering.
But in characteristic fashion… THERE WILL BE NO TRIGGER WARNINGS.
Because sometimes you don’t need to shy away from things that make you uncomfortable. Sometimes you need to read that thing that speaks to all of your hurts. In my personal experience, whenever I do this, I grow. I change. I am better able to deal with real life experiences. Avoiding issues isn’t always the answer. Sometimes you need to have that shit right up in your face.
So I’m going to write some shit that will probably make me unbearable. Watching the news turns me into a person not meant for public consumption, so I can only imagine how writing about this is going to make me feel.
But it needs to be done.
Considering all this, I’m going to take a different approach to talking about his novel than I ever have. I’m going to expose process in real time. You’ll see which characters I think represent Ava Greene and Levi Raymond. I’m going to link to and talk about articles that trigger me. Also, there is going to be a shit-ton of fucking feelings.
SO BASICALLY THIS SHIT IS GOING TO BECOME MY WRITING JOURNAL.
This may put some people off. I accept that. But I also don’t fucking care. I love you, but if my blackness and the burden it carries is too heavy for you, kindly exit left. Real talk. I have no fucks to give.
For those of you that stay?
Hold the fuck on, my friends.
I love you, but this is gonna be a rough and bumpy ride.