In a bid to flex my stagnant writing muscles, today I’m going to confess my deep, dark, author secret—
I’ve never read copies of my own published books.
I’ve held them, hugged them, and handed them out, but the last time I read both Cloaked and Sonder Village, it was on a computer screen to approve the final galley copy before publication.
At first, I think it was because by the time the books launched, I was so sick of editing them through for errors that I had them memorized. Then months passed and I still couldn’t crack the spines. Now years have gone by, and it’s been built up so much in my head that I’m too scared.
I was at a different place in my life and in my writing career with these books. I like to think I’ve grown enough to look back with fresh eyes, but I am afraid of the cringe. Writers tend to be a finicky lot. We chase perfection and are frustrated when our own works do not measure up to the authors we idolize. The story I remember writing is not the story that will appear on the pages. I don’t think my ego can handle the blow right now. Pitching my current project has been particularly heart-wrenching and I have little enough forward momentum as it is, so I’m not sure if looking backward is the answer. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough.
I’ve had enough space from high school to look back at these photos, at least! Here’s to celebrating how far we’ve come, and how much farther we must go.
Taylor (and Conor, W, and R)
This is the longest I’ve ever gone in the past five years without posting on the blog. It wasn’t because nothing happened, quite the opposite in fact. We have moved across the country, bought a house, Conor started a new job working from home, and we are in the middle of setting up an entirely new life. I couldn’t bring myself to post after the final goodbye to the boat in February mostly because, well, I’m not sure which direction to take this site.
I know that I want to keep writing here. I love looking back at the entire summary of our liveaboard experience and I’m so happy I kept the blog as a log. Now that our lifestyle is no longer as “unique” or “adventurous”, I question why anyone would keep reading about it. This is no longer a sailing/liveaboard guide. I keep my kids and family off social media for the most part, so it definitely won’t morph into a mommy blog. Conor isn’t active duty, so no #militarywifelife. Does that mean…it’s just me? My thoughts? Is that enough to keep this going?
I guess I can try. I have a feeling it will have a heavy emphasis on writer’s block, publishing industry frustrations, and impostor syndrome. My identity the past decade has been my role in relation to others, but now I am moving ever so slightly beyond the demands of babyhood and into brief moments of toddler and big kid independence. There is more space to breathe and to carve out an identity of my own.
I want to keep writing books. I want to turn it into a viable career. I haven’t published anything since 2019, but not for lack of trying. In 2020 I rewrote an early project of mine, which I pitched but didn’t get picked up. I wrote another book in 2021 and started pitching it in early 2022 but I don’t know if I should give up on that book as well. Once we are done moving in, I’ll sit down and start yet another book. It is daunting and terrifying. Now that we are rooted, I’ll finally have time to dedicate real energy to marketing, drafting, editing, pitching…and what if I still can’t get my big break? My previous excuses are now no longer relevant. It’s just me, and if I have what it takes…or not.
Maybe this blog needs a new title.
Taylor, Conor, W, and R