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What I am Afraid Of

I am afraid of a lot of things really but this post is not about every single one of my fears. That can be a different post for a different time because trust me, that is a really long list. Right now, I mean my fears about Imitatore, about publishing, and about putting myself out there.

My biggest fear is pretty obvious and pretty standard if you are a writer or any type of artist. I am scared to death that everyone will hate it. Maybe not hate it but I am afraid that it will not be as entertaining as I hope it will be. However, I cannot fault anyone for not liking it and I really would not be upset if you didn’t. Everyone likes different things and you are in no way obligated to like Imitatore at all. It’s just, I am really hard on myself and have convinced myself that this book may not be as good as I think that it is. Anxiety and depression will do that to ya I guess.

I have spent the better part of my life hiding my writing from the world. I guess most writers do this but I do it far more often than I would like to. For the most part, I write in secret and then I keep it secret until the end of time. So putting myself out there on this big of a scale is frightening, to say the least. While I am not entirely concerned with being some kind of “overnight success”, I do hope there is someone out there who enjoys my work. Really, I am doing this to see if I can. To see if I can put myself out there and have no real fear about the outcome. My goal is not really for monetary gain, though that would be nice, it is not the end-all-be-all for me. I mean, who doesn’t love money?

My goal is to share, to put out a story that includes representation, and to genuinely give myself a chance to be the writer that I want to be. So I guess another fear is that I will fail at all of that. We as people all have fears, its just about how we navigate them. Not saying that everyone should “face their fears” because I believe a statement like that is asinine. Not everyone can “face their fears”, I of all people know that very well. This is just something that I feel like I have to do. That I need to do.

Even though being this exposed scares the absolute shit of me. I’m going to do it anyway and with any luck, you’ll all love Imitatore in your own ways.

A. Rose

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Why Your Support is Needed

Now I know what you’re probably thinking, is this really necessary? Most likely no but hey, I’ve got to write about something here. Support is always needed. In life, in art, and in so many other things. Without support, a lot of things never truly get out there. That and the support of my friends, peers, and even strangers means a lot to me.

As an author who plans to self-publish, building an audience and having support is a major key to my success. Well, I presume there will be a small amount of success but that is definitely not guaranteed. But in order for there to even be a small amount of success, I need you all. Even if you don’t read, like fantasy fiction, or don’t like my book in particular. There may be someone out there who does and your help with getting it out there would mean so much to me.

Being black and a woman has is advantages, I will say that. However, because of those two things I often feel as though my art and my voice are constantly overlooked. Could be all in my head but I doubt that. To add to that, there is the fact that there are not many black women fantasy fiction writers. Attempting to break into that market is going to particularly difficult for me to do but I am not going to let that stop me. I can’t let it hold me back from trying, even if it gets to me.

So again, your support is greatly needed. It will always be needed and I will always appreciate it. I will do my best to let you know how appreciative I am every single day.

 

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Going for Broke

A phrase used quite a lot but it is definitely something I always feel like I am doing. I put my all into pretty much everything I do and I hardly ever expect results from it. The reason for this is because I love the things that I do. If someone else loves them too, that’s great, but it is not the only reason I do things. That sounds crazy full of myself but I promise you I am not.

I spend a lot of time wondering why I do things, or rather, why I try to do things. I am constantly plagued with self-doubt and anxiety, so the additional stress at times hardly seems worth it. Truth be told, nine times out of ten I give up on a project before it is even finished. I have so many unfinished poems and stories that I don’t even know if I would qualify myself as a writer sometimes. It is all very, woe is me, but whatever. Where am I going with this? Oh yea that’s right, going for broke.

With Imitatore, I am going for broke. I am going to self-publish this book and put myself further out there than I ever have before. It is absolutely the most nerve racking thing I will ever do and I do burlesque. I have a hard time sharing my writing, simply because I am always afraid that no one will like it or understand it. I know, that in the end that part doesn’t matter. What matters is how I feel about the work that I put out but it is still nice if someone likes what I do. There are no guarantees that anyone will like Imitatore, none at all but I am not going to let that stop me; not this time.

With self-publishing comes inevitable expenses and as a broke college student, that word scares me. I don’t know if I could work up the courage to do a gofundme or a kickstarter because I really hate asking for money. That and I have no idea who would want to donate to something like that. Especially when there is no guarantee that this book will even be successful. I know I have to do something because I believe in this project, I just don’t know what I am going to do yet. I need luck, confidence, and so many other things. I am slowly finding them along the way, hopefully everything falls into place soon.

 

What have some of you done in your own self-publishing journeys? Have you raised money through a crowdfunding campaign or did you go it alone?

A. Rose

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Writing a Non-Binary Character

There are a lot of reasons for this, none that I’m sure need to be named but I’m going to talk about it anyway. The number one reason why I did this, is you guessed it, representation. There are many Trans people in my life and within that spectrum, I feel as though non-binary individuals don’t have the type of representation that they would like to have.

Now I am not the authority to speak for them, nor will I ever claim to be. I merely observe and listen from afar. I can see whats important, I can see the types of things that need to be done, and most of all I want to be the ally that helps do them. With my non-binary character, I did not want some tragic and pained backstory. What I wanted was a strong character, with development and kick-ass powers. A non-binary character that everyone just accepted without question and without them having to prove anything to anyone. Though what I want isn’t necessarily the point here, I do think it is important that a non-binary person is just that, a person.

Now from a different side, I thought it important to have a black non-binary character. Often Trans and Queer POC are left out of a lot of narratives even though they do exist. A lot of it is culture, a lot is erasure, and a lot is just a sheer lack of understanding. This black non-binary character is not a token, they will never be a token. I wanted to step out of the box of tokenism and actually allow this character to just be. My black non-binary character is a central and crucial part of the story, without them the story would not even exist.

I hope that when my Trans friends read my book if they do, that they like what I did. That I did right by them as an ally and as a friend. Again, my intention is not to speak for you, though they say the intention isn’t always what matters.

What are your opinions on Trans representation in books, movies, and other media? Especially non-binary individuals. Do you do anything to change this? If so what?

A. Rose

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Why Now?

This is a question that I ask myself a lot, especially these days. Why am I doing this now? Why did I wait so long? Why don’t I wait a little longer? My mind is full of questions and doubts as I go through this process. Writing is something that I have always loved and while my depression often gets in the way of the things that I love, I always come back to writing somehow.

I have tried my hand at many different things, as most people do when they are searching for a place in life. I think I have actually spent more time trying new pursuits than I have with sticking with just one thing. Honestly, I have spent pretty much all of my life so far just looking for a place I belong in. To me, that sounds crazy high school but I am slowly realizing that even adults struggle with this. That even adults just want to feel like we belong somewhere, like we are going to be someone, and even that we are going to make a difference in the world. It may be cliche but it’s the truth.

I had a realization this year, one I was finally happy to have. I realized that not fitting in anywhere, is exactly who I am meant to be. Being a writer typically means being solo, it means being stuck in my own head, but most of all it means that there are molds that I want to break. Now I know what you’re thinking, is this a goddamn manifesto? Ha, no. I am not trying to be on my soapbox in the least bit. I’ve just learned that is time for me to do what I want to do and let go of the fear of ‘not fitting in’. It is a difficult thing to do when I also have anxiety to go along with my depression but I have to start doing what makes me happy.

Imitatore has helped me with this so much. Writing this novel has been the happiest I’ve ever been (well next to being with my boyfriend, he’s my number one happy). How about I say, this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my own life outside of my relationship life. Imitatore is a culmination of years of therapy, medication treatment, mental breakdowns, and alternative therapies. Again, sounds ridiculous and cliche but I can’t help if I am ridiculous and cliche. Writing this novel has changed me, most of all it has helped me see that my path is to write. While I will maintain going to college and finishing my psychology degree, I will never leave writing behind.

A. Rose