Some call me Double N. While it may be true that I posses superhuman powers of doing, I assure you there is only one of me. A friend asked me recently if I spent a lot of time dreaming of my stories. The truth of the matter is, I do. I live in this sort of split universe where only half of me is present at any given time, while the other half is gallivanting in any number of imagined worlds. In a sense I am living many lives, all at once and the pace is harried. These other worlds have voices and faces and dreams of their own. My characters can often be found picketing at the edges of my mind, clamoring for attention. “Let us out!” they scream, “hurry!”
That’s when I get myself another cup of coffee and skip another two hours of sleep. I know, it’s not good, but it’s the price I pay for having a full time job, freelance design work, a life, and writing to do. I’m not one of those people that writes every day. I am an impulse writer. Things come to me. Characters scream at me. Sure, I often set myself up in my dark little corner, raise my sleeves and tap away hoping for lightning, but that’s not always when the magic happens. The magic, you see, rolls by me and it’s my job to catch it when it does. If I happen to be at work, or in a meeting or doing something that doesn’t allow me to reach out in time–there it goes. That’s not to say that I am not productive the rest of the time, but when I’m rolling with that magic I can pen 5000 words and not even know it. Time disappears, or stops, or just leaves me alone.
Either way, I work with what I got. I’m not the only writer out there with quirky habits and a full time job. I’m happy to be employed at a time when the whole country is struggling to find work. Overall I am in a very happy place, surrounded by people who love me and support this great new adventure I’ve embarked upon. It’s not always easy to stay motivated or to come home knowing I gotta write. I have yet to finish my first full length novel. That provides a lot of incentive for me.
I keep hearing the words of Neil Gaiman in the back of my mind. “Enjoy the journey.” I’m trying Neil, believe me. Sometimes, like today, I spend too much time on Galleycat, browsing blogs and writing advice columns and trends and get depressed. For all of thirty seconds today I said to myself, “Fuck this.” Then, I snapped out of it. This is the point where most people would turn back. This is the point where most would throw the towel in, admit defeat and crawl back to their their plan B’s. I closed the browser window, took a deep breath and said these words: I surrender.
I surrender to the flow and the plan the universe has for me. The crammed marketplace filled to the brim with indy authors and thousands upon thousands of new books is not something I have control over. I can’t control the fact that Amazon has rolled out something called Ranking that allows me to see that I rank in the 2000’s in Erotica and the 5000’s in horror. It might as well be zero when it comes to sales. This whole ranking thing gave me a good laugh. I can’t control that no one knows who I am, but I can control how I react to said information.
OK so it’s a popularity contest based on recent sales. It’s high school all over again. Charts to make already neurotic indy authors more neurotic. Good job Amazon on diminishing the mid list! But you see, I was never popular in high school. I was the strange goth chick that showed up to classes with my hair turned to icicles cause I didn’t own a blow dryer. I was the chick that hung out with the deadbeats down the cliffs, that read Coleridge at lunchtime for fun. This popularity contest doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t phase me. I am the underdog, the immigrant who got left back a whole year cause I didn’t know English, the immigrant who later went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude, and the very same immigrant who has an extremely successful career as a Creative Director. I am the hispanic girl who proved a lot of people wrong.
I am Double N. I have superpowers and I’m not stopping. I am going to write the best god-dammed books I can and worry about all this marketing and popularity crap later. That much, I promise you.
As for having two of me, that would be fun. It would mean that I’d achieve my goals in half the time (and the lesbian sex would be insane).
Surrender to the gifts that you’ve been given and the universe will do the rest. Peace.