lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Turning a Corner May 2, 2019

I know it’s been a while, and I really am sorry.

Basically, maintaining my author work while choreographing and being in one show and then jumping right into rehearsals for another ate all my available brain cells.

Night of Never was released two weeks ago, and Son of Sun comes out next week, so it’s been a wild ride. It’s been a storm of editing, writing, and making big life decisions.

There’s a story that I’d love to tell you all, but I can’t because airing your grievances on a blog is unprofessional and immature, and I’m good enough at adulting to know that it would bite me in the butt.

So here’s a much longer story.

When I was in college, I was never what my professors wanted me to be. I was smart enough that they needed my GPA, driven enough that I always had theatre work, but they always placed me at the bottom of the list of those they deemed worthy of success.

I’ve spent my adult life as a female in musical theatre. I’ve been lucky enough to work a hell of a lot more than most and have had the pleasure of working for companies that I genuinely enjoy. Even still, as an actor, let alone a female actor, it is regularly implied (and sometimes outright stated) that you are disposable. If you’re lucky enough to have work, then you should take what you’re given because there are hundreds of other people who want to be sitting at your dressing room station.

And that’s true. There are actors living in New York who audition for years without ever booking any work, let alone consistent work with really good companies.

Over time, it starts to feel like whatever you’re given, you should accept. Because, God forbid you refuse, you’re going to be out on the street and never work again. You’ll end up spending the rest of your years working a dreaded survival job while singing show tunes at karaoke every week to try and prove to the world that you have a reason to still say that you’re an actor.

But here’s the thing. Actors, artists, and writers are not dogs begging for scraps. Just because we love our jobs does not mean we aren’t worthy of being treated like genuine, grownup professionals.

Being an Indie Author has granted me a level of freedom I never dreamed of in my small press days. I not only get to have the final say in everything to do with my books, I also get to see how my books are doing in real time. I get to judge how my income is growing. I get to see that I, as an author, am worthy of respect because people are actively seeking out my work. The Girl of Glass series has already earned out (recouped my initial investment with covers, editing, etc.), and book four hasn’t even been released yet!

I have created something that readers want. Me. I am not being graciously granted a place, I am not super lucky to have been chosen. I am a warrior writer who battles past Facebook, Instagram, and Fortnite to earn a chunk of my readers’ time. Time that they are devoting to my characters because I have created something worthy of their attention.

I am worthy. My work is damn well worthy.

Just those two simple statements are utterly life changing.

I am in control. I create my own income on my terms.

Mind absolutely blown.

So if I choose to say no to a project—if I say No, I am important and if you can’t see it then I don’t need to be here—I’m going to be just fine. I will create more worthy work. I will find a place not by grace and favor, but because I am a mother f***ing warrior and I deserve to be there.

And I’ll be damned if that’s not the most beautiful and satisfying thing in the world.

 

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