Friday, February 12, 2016

I Was So Damn Arrogant, or Writing Terror

I truly was arrogant enough to believe that once I had "jumped the hurdle" of paralyzing self-doubt and crippling creation terror then I would be done, as if it's a one-off thing. Congratulations, you've leveled up and now you're ready for the big time, Raine!

But doubt, like chaos, seems to be the natural state of things. When not guarding against it, the fear creeps (sometimes rushes!) back in.

I spent all of 2015 writing for other people and I'm scared I don't how to write for myself anymore. My defenses are untrained, and it's easier to be afraid than it is to write. I don't know how to stand up to the voices in my head anymore that say:

You can't...
You won't...
You aren't... 

I recently thought about writing an M/M Regency-Era Romance. This was such a charming idea that it pushed all the storm clouds out of my mind...for 5 whole minutes. Then the voices came back louder than ever.

You aren't good enough to do that, Raine.

I wouldn't say that to my worst enemy, you know? But somehow it seems incredibly simple to say it to myself.

Spend half an hour on Facebook and you will see a dozen people in all stages of their publication journey, from the newest newbie to the most seasoned veteran, battling this same ugly voice.

Creation is scary.

Putting that creation on display for people to judge? Sheer terror.

I held off writing this blog until today because I like to end things positively. Until this morning I could not see where to draw a single ounce of hope from. Then I got my CPAP.


Apparently for the last two years I've been suffering from severe sleep apnea. Severe-severe. Like I stop breathing 47 times AN HOUR. I've been a walking zombie...Obviously. Now I have a machine that will keep me breathing all night long. I might dream! I will definitely have more energy.

Energy to fight the negative voices.

Energy to write.

I'm not under the illusion that I will get better sleep and immediately there will no longer be any fears, doubts, or moments of depression. But I am hopeful because it's a start--a weapon in my fight against this creation terror.

--Raine O'Tierney

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy Publiversary, Raine O'Tierney! Thoughts and #Giveaways!

Raine O'Tierney turns two today.

I heard a Fall Out Boy song on the radio today. Centuries. There was this line I liked a lot...

I was only born inside my dreams...
And I feel like that sums up the last two years. Being a published author has been my dream since I was a little girl. Then it just happened like magic! Ha. No, that's not right at all. I hid in a ball of fear for a decade until some good friends and co-workers clawed and scratched at my ball. I then uncurled long enough to look at a business card from Dreamspinner Press. There was paralyzing fear, self-doubt, tears. I was rejected, accepted, rejected again by a slew of publishers. In the past two years I've experienced being an author with a large publisher of gay romance as well as an indie, profit-share publisher. I've written several free novellas. I've received letters from people who said I changed their lives with my words and cruel reviews that almost broke my spirit. I've won awards and I've been snubbed. I've made friends and lost them through time, distance, or shitty mistakes. I discovered the joys of collaboration and the horrible addiction of being fed by others' praise. Looking back at my original bucket list, I got my audiobook, but not my Newbery. ;) I wrote for myself and I wrote for other people. And then I lost myself...


And totally.

So that I no longer knew what I was doing or why I was doing it.

The full phrase of that line I liked so much from Fall Out Boy's Centuries goes like this:

And I can't stop 'til the whole world knows my name...
I have been so focused on who knows me and what they think about me, that I stopped writing. Writing for joy wasn't good enough--I had to write for fame. But what the hell is fame? Because being famous doesn't make the Goodreads reviews cut any less, and being famous doesn't mean you suddenly doubt yourself any less. All that crappy drama you brought into "fame" is still there. But worse.

So this year I offer you no bucket list. Just a few private promises and a shift in world view as I write for myself again.

--Raine O'Tierney

Ps. Oh, you came for prizes, didn't you? :) I suppose we can do a giveaway!


So, what are we giving away?

How about an Audible copy of Bowl Full of Cherries, a set of 3 of my titles in eBook (your choice!), and one of three The Sweetness stickers? <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway