Where to go when you feel lost

I’ve always loved to write. Since around the age of eight or nine, it’s always been a passion of mine. I remember in fourth or fifth grade writing an entire book in a notebook. Hand-written. I always wanted to be an author. And now I am.

Or am I?

One would think after six published books I’d know where I stand in the publishing world. I have books, a website, a tagline — Chick lit with a punch! So why do I feel so lost?

Pieces of it All was my first book. There. That’s a lie. My first book was actually The Jealousy Game. I don’t like to stake a claim to it because it was horrible. I mean, the premise was fine, and people left great reviews … thanks to the friends who did because I’m sure that’s who did. I also received horrible reviews. Dreadful. And every word of them was probably true.

When I published Pieces of it All, that was my first “real” book in my opinion. It took a long time to write and went through beta reads and revisions and proofreading. I felt EVERY SINGLE WORD. I reread it and think, “Shit — I WROTE that book.” I went on to write the Pastime Pursuits series, then Dating For Decades, and Lipstick & Lattes. All That Glitters comes out June 20th, the first in a new series. All of my books, with the exception of Pieces of it All and The Jealousy Game, could be considered chick lit / women’s fiction / romance. The other two are quite different. I love all my books, but Pieces is near and dear to me.

People hated that book. I think that’s because I marketed it wrong. I was new to the came and sold it as a New Adult Contemporary Romance when in actuality it is a Coming-of-Age book. It’s about self-discovery, the journey to find the truth in your life. In my opinion, the book has a very happily ever after, but not the one that romance readers seek.

So, I tried my hand at Chick Lit / Women’s Fiction. I love my Pastime Pursuits series and my two stand-alones were so much fun to write as well. All The Glitters has a great premise and I can’t WAIT to write Book 2 and 3 — once I can figure out how I want to do that. This is my first connected series, so it’s a bit different than Pastime Pursuits.

So where does my being lost come in?

I’m starting to doubt myself. This isn’t like do I want to write or don’t I–I KNOW I want to write. I always have. I just don’t have any clue WHERE I fit in. I didn’t think being an author would feel so much like being back in high school. (Did I mention my 20-year reunion is this summer? Yeah, I’m not going to that).

Romance readers don’t find my books romantic enough.

Chick lit readers don’t find my books funny enough.

Women’s fiction readers find my characters too immature.

Where does that put me genre wise? How can I market myself?

I’ll be frank here–I write what I love. I write what makes sense to me and I like to do it with realism. I write the story in my heart. And I know that’s the problem.

Thrillers were always my first love when it came to reading. The Jealousy Game was a thriller. I toy with the idea of writing under a pen name and starting a thriller series. I’m scared as hell to do it but I won’t know unless I try. But I feel like I’m failing myself if I don’t succeed. Would I abandon my romance / chick lit / women’s fiction / whatever the hell this genre is I write? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.

Here’s what I do know.

I love to write.

I’m scared to write.

I want to succeed.

I’m about 99% positive I won’t succeed on the level I want to.

I’m procrastinating.

I want to keep going.

I want to quit.

I’m lost.

There’s no point to this post other than to put my feelings down on “paper.” A journal of sorts, I guess. Is there a support group for lost writers? Please point me in that direction. I wish I wasn’t afraid to take more chances when it came to this stuff. It’s Monday, it’s raining, my mood is down. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel differently.

Right now, I’m just hungry.

 

  • I’m a women’s fiction / chick lit / romance lover so your books are the perfect genre for me. I also love thrillers and YA coming of age stories.
    I like books. You write books. If only marketing books was that staight forward…

  • It’s hard to find your niche! But I think you fit in fine in the chicklit world. L&L felt very chicklit to me, and I think that’s a good place for you. But you’ll have to feel your way back to your productivity, or you’ll get excited by something new and really want to write it. I’m sure it’ll happen. Just give yourself a little time.