Over the next 10 weeks, I’ll be sharing excerpts and stories from my book, Heir of Blood and Secrets, in this article series. Heir of Blood and Secrets launches on August 23rd on Amazon.
I’d like to say I’ve been writing my entire life, but that would be a lie and a lie would be a strange way to start off this article series.
The truth is that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with writing since I was thirteen years old. Angsty poetry, written on my $300 laptop - a princely sum at the time - was an outlet for me, nothing more, at first.
I can’t recall exactly when that changed, when I started to fall in love with the act of creating worlds on paper, and characters from words. All I can tell you is that something changed and I could no more stop myself from writing than I could prevent air from entering my lungs.
Dramatic? Perhaps. It’s hard to put into words what my writing meant to me (the irony is not lost on me). It was a need, something I loved, and something I was ashamed of loving.
I was born in Canada, courtesy of parents who put the needs of their unborn children before their own. It’s a gift I did not ask for, but one that I reap the benefits of every day. It’s a debt I can never repay. So to take the opportunities that I was given, to put them aside in favor of an exhausting career as a novelist, was something I could never justify. Surely, I had to do something extraordinary, live up to my full potential, achieve society-ordained levels of success. Found a unicorn startup. Land a job at Google right after graduation.
Of course, at thirteen, my dreams were far less lofty. I wanted to go to a good university (whatever that means), win awards, prove to myself, my parents, the world, that I was good enough. Did I do that? I honestly don’t know.
Now, as I write this article, and I hold my book in my hands for the very first time, only a few days out from publication, I have the same fears. Have I let my parents down? Have I failed to reach the limits of my potential, failed to be successful?
Seven years ago, I would have said that publishing Heir of Blood and Secrets (then The Rebellion’s Daughter) would be a dream come true. If you’d asked me if that was still the case even a few months ago, I would have said yes. Of course, yes.
But I am slowly coming to realize that when it comes to my writing, and life in general, there are so many fears and negative thoughts lurking beneath the surface and they do not go away just because I’ve now seen a book through from inception to publication. There are monsters I must face, demons I must slay. Maybe there always will be.
I want you to know that, because I wish someone had told me when I was thirteen that I didn’t need to have everything figured out. That all these substantive milestones - awards, university acceptance letters, publications - weren’t the answer to the questions I was really asking. Am I good enough? Am I doing life right?
Because that’s the fascinating thing about life and this beautiful, complex world that we live in. If you choose to, you can live your life on your own terms. Define your own metrics of success. Take a step back from the gilded images you see on social media because, remember, perception isn’t reality. You get to decide what the rest of your life will look like. You get to decide if you’re good enough, if you’re going to be a better person than you were yesterday, if you’ll do the right thing even when it’s hard.
And in case you need to hear it, you are enough. Stop comparing yourself to others because this path that you’re on? It’s yours.
I am still learning to love myself, to recognize that my needs are important too. I am still learning to be a better writer, a better student, a better human. But I know I am moving in the right direction now, and that’s all that matters. Life goes on, and we move onwards.
If you enjoyed this article and want to read more, please drop your name and email in this form. You’ll be notified when the next article goes live and when Heir of Blood and Secrets officially publishes! If you want to connect, you can reach me at email@example.com or connect with me on social media @lindaxia_author.