I have a sharpie and I know how to use it!
Although in that picture I’m using a pen. The reason I’m writing in brand new books is that several people have either won or special ordered autographed print copies of World-Building From the Inside Out. So I take sharpie in hand for the grand moment, as Suzy Q taught me, and I sign–and then I reach for the pen (because I’m a rebel).
Signing books is a thing for me. In my family growing up, a book gift didn’t REALLY count until the giver had signed and dated it with a personalized message. Didn’t have to be long, didn’t have to be fancy, but that little touch had to be there. Something to make it memorable.
As I sat down yesterday to sign the books, I had the jitters as I realized I wasn’t signing for family (okay, some of it was family, because that happens, but not ALL for family 😉 ). I was writing for friends and people that I honestly, deeply wanted to help with these materials. Due to some personal reflection lately (always fun), I learned that I’m in fact a sometimes socially-awkward extrovert. I’m pretty good at cracking a joke and chatting about ideas, but not so great at communicating how deeply I care about people.
Writing these instructional materials wasn’t a way to get a speaking engagement or make a quick buck (although I do love teaching and money is helpful). First and foremost, I wrote World-Building From the Inside Out because I really wanted to make a quick, usable reference/primer for writers who struggle with finding time or energy or resources to world-build. Who get scared at the idea, or get bogged down in all the choices to make.
Who sometimes feel like giving up.
I know what it’s like to squeeze out words when all you want to do is sleep and the voices in your head are telling you that there has to be something else you could be doing. To pray for inspiration when you are spent after a long day. To try to explain to people “yeah, so I write” and they ask what else you do–and you don’t have anything else, because your life is filled with jobs/kids/cleaning/occasional sleep and you have to fight for those moments at the computer screen. Or to spend hours searching for just the right world-building element and meanwhile no words are getting on the page.
And I say to you: Keep going. Be bold enough to put crazy fantastic ideas on the page that no one ever has. Be brave enough to use your unique voice. And be AWESOME!
Also, if you have a chance, be at the online launch party this Friday on Facebook from 8 pm-10 pm. There will be epic guest authors H.L. Burke and Kat Heckenbach, games, and videos! Plus, lots of fun prizes, including print copies of World-Building From the Inside Out (textbook and workbook), fantastic fiction, and a free custom illustration of a creature or book character (for writers) or a custom piece of fan art (for readers) by artist Julia Busko. Hope to see you there!