It would be a huge lie to say that the reasons I began this blog way back in 2000 still hold true, because they don't. I was once a very public person, fascinated with the idea of sharing a life lived. Then I grew older, learned some valuable (and occasionally painful) lessons and generally moved beyond that whole concept. As a result - even despite having a permanent account - my updates here waned, until they numbered only a few a year. My LJ became a ghost town, a monument to the twentysomething I once was - but no more, change is in the air.
Change that comes after two years of serious soul-searching. Change that feels right in every cell of my body, in the very essence of my being. Change that will hopefully take me somewhere new while also leading me full circle back to my creative self.
Change, as a result of asking myself over and over again: WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?
I know I already am many things and those things make me plenty happy: wife, founder of a small press, horror journalist, writer/editor, poet, occasional spoken word performer, etc., etc. But the time came to grow once more. WHO DO I WANT TO BE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
So I pondered and explored; I went to conventions and sat in on every panel I could. See, I already knew part of the answer. I wanted to write a novel. As of matter fact, most of those who know me could tell you that I've been talking about working on some novel or another for years - an effort that in the end always proved futile, at least until now. Sometimes it seemed to be because of time (working at the mag and running a press can be life-consuming, never mind the hours needed to keep a marriage happy, and the occasional personal decompression day), but that wasn't the real reason behind all the starts and stops. Not really, not at its core. It was something else entirely, in fact. The truth of the matter is that something was missing motivation-wise, and I was determined to figure out what that mysterious something was. And in the end I did.
You see, I always thought I wanted to write scary stories for grown-ups. But what I discovered during all this soul-searching was that really I didn't. I mean, I probably should have figured it out a lot sooner, especially considering every novel I'd ever started featured a protagonist under the age of twenty. But what can I say, I can be dense sometimes.
But when it came down it, everything pointed to a market that until two years ago I had barely thought about: young adult fiction. I mean, I read it, and it could probably be said that I'm pretty much Rue Morgue's YA horror expert, but I never considered it a direction for my own writing - that is until I really thought about it. Then it clicked. Really clicked. But that was just the beginning. I mean, I had to be sure. So for the past 16-24 months I have read every YA genre book I could get my hands on. And the more I read, the more I knew these were the kind of stories I wanted to tell: coming-of-age tales, with monsters.
Finally, three months ago, I stopped researching and started writing. And along the way I changed virtually everything about my creation process - I evaluated each of my prior failures to see where the failure was rooted, and then took action against it. I was determined to learn from my mistakes.
And short of mentioning my progress occasionally in Facebook and Twitter status updates, and conferring with my beta reader, I kept all the writing and scheming on the down-low. I didn't want to tell too many people in case it didn't stick - I didn't want to become that person who always talked about writing a novel, but never actually completed one. So I gave myself a goal, one I would have to meet before I could start talking publicly about the project, and I met it, just this week.
In fact, it was the meeting of this goal that inspired me to completely overhaul and relaunch this journal. As I said earlier, I don't really have any interest in blogging about the mundane in-and-outs of my daily life anymore, I don't need to. But I do want one to talk about writing, to talk about the challenges of going from editor/horror journalist/poet to novelist, to muse about my creative journey and all the discoveries I've made about myself along the way.
So that's what this is now: my new writing blog - a place where I can share the process and hurdles, the adventure and the dream. Because everyone needs a dream. And of course, the truth of the matter is that dreaming is the easy part. Chasing the dream, and seeing it through to fruition, is not. This is the story of my dream, and I invite you along for the ride.