Posts tagged " writer’s life "

On Calling it Quits

May 10th, 2017 Posted by Tabula Rasa 1 comment

At least once a year, considerably more during this past one, I want to quit writing. To destroy my books, to delete my hard drive, my back up, my notes, rewire my brain. This profession is exhausting, if you can call it a profession at all. There are too many of us in an industry that’s dying. Those of us that choose the road of indie publishing do it at a great price, rarely, if ever making any of our investment back, let alone a profit. It’s too much of a risk.

It’s too much of a fake high. The last period I typed at the end of my novel. The first time I held the printed book in my hand. The first words of praise I read in a review. The applause of the crowd I finally manage to gather at my third attempt at a reading. The last time I read, the strength of my voice, the power of my story. It takes days, months, for me to come down from this, and every time I do, I know I can’t do this anymore.

One more try, I say, ploughing through daily Facebook posts, boosts, ads. PR agencies that promise me reality in words I recognize, yet choose to inflate. I join groups, I talk to other authors, one sad story upon the next, and then, one of success. I snatch it, it helps me hold on to my dream. I turn to my bookshelf, packed with literary greatness, secretly shelve my book tightly in their midst; it helps to know that I have something to place there.

Last night, in bed, past midnight, I picked up my phone and typed myself a reminder: quit writing.

Today, I’m here alone. On a stool at my kitchen counter. Surrounded by toys, dirty dishes, and a world of ideas I could explore that have the promise of steering me down a more successful path. My computer stays open to a blank page for most of the day. I know that I’m good. But it’s nowhere near enough. I need to quit. Yet, here I am again.

Friendly Privilege

June 10th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

“Pieces” is hanging on a faraway beach in Abu Dhabi today. There’s a special kind of privilege that goes with spending your childhood at a small international school. Friends and classmates come and go, the energy is forever shifting, post-graduation most leave for universities and work abroad, but the tight-knit community is always held together by an invisible string. We always come back, even if for a fleeting moment, to the place we grew up in, together. Even if we don’t, someone who does, knows what someone else is doing, tells someone else, and you get the picture. And as much as we may all dislike Facebook, it’s only made that string stronger. It’s definitely worked wonders for my novel. Thank you for reading and sending proof, Christophe Corsi.

Today marks a year since “Pieces” was born

May 6th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

Today marks a year since “Pieces” was born, a year since I sat in an empty courtyard in the back of a bookstore somewhere in Brooklyn, surrounded by a handful of friends, frightened and excited about what the next months would bring.

The last year has been a journey on all levels, the miles I traveled, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have aged, I have grown, I have cried, laughed, and screamed, and learnt a bunch of damn good lessons.

When you publish a book for the first time, you can choose two roads. One is the traditional one, where an agent sells your book to a big publishing house and you feel like you’ve given up a child for adoption. The second is the hybrid/indie way, where after of what feels like years of being in labor, you finally give birth to this baby that ends up needing more care and attention in its first year than quadruplets.

The other day, a woman at the playground asked me how to get her book published, she was thinking of writing her life story. My instinct was to shout “don’t do it!”, but instead I explained to her the what the journey held.

No journey is really a journey if it’s simply full of success, glamour, and profit. You must lose something along the way, then find something grander as you travel, you must be alert, hopeful, smart, and open, and you must learn, learn, and learn.

 

I thank all of you who have walked up this road by my side, all of you who have bought the novel, reviewed the novel, emailed me, posted for me, shared your thoughts with your friends and family, hollered and raved. Here’s to my baby’s second year!

 

On Writing

March 19th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

I was once a girl who wrote in her diary every night before bed. Not about my feelings, fears and aspirations, but a daily story of what had happened that day. I never talked about a boy I liked, who my best friend was, I just told stories about these people, as if an objective onlooker. All things considered, these notebooks that I still have, are a psychologist’s funpark; over a decade of entries that got longer as I got older.

I never showed anyone, it never even crossed my mind that I could write. I wanted to be a microbiologist, wear a lab coat, stare into microscopes.

Years later, when math and chemistry and I failed eachother miserably, I was still writing, still not showing anyone. (Save my journalism work.) I wrote a chapter of what could be a book, years later showed someone at a summer writing workshop.

Then I wrote the book. And only showed my friends, the ones that I was sure would only praise me.

Many more years later, tired of staring at a pile of printed pages on my desk, I took a very deep breath, and contacted a publisher.

I’m still petrified of people reading my work. But it’s become the norm, this being slightly afraid on a daily basis. I’ve returned to the diary habit, only these days it’s not in a lined, spiral notebook, it’s in public, right here on this page for you all to see. It too is scary, but without the fear I no longer feel alive.

 

I watched my son dumping dirt in his truck at the playground today, he’s only seven years younger than the age I started writing, I thought, remembering those diaries. His box of chalk lay next to me. I took the pink one, drew a heart, then slowly wrote out the title of my book, then New York City, the place where it all started, then Athens, the place where I gave it life.

Rain and wind will wash away my words, they’re merely scribbled in dust, but before they do, maybe someone will come by and see them, maybe a child will wonder why someone wrote “Pieces” on the playground’s floor.

 

Pieces: a novel

“Pieces” is the winner of the silver medal at the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY), and a finalist at the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards.

When Clouds Embrace: a children's book

All proceeds from the sales of "When Clouds Embrace" will go to Giving for Greece, a foundation that works to help the hundreds of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.