It has been oddly vulnerable writing what’s essentially a rough draft of a book in public with an audience. I’ve loved hearing from you about the story as I go. Here’s what it’s been like writing for Kindle Vella.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
People often assume that because I write every day in public for an audience that speaking my mind is really natural to me. That it’s something I’ve always done easily. And that I was supported for it when I was younger. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I learned early on to hide my notebooks. My mom would find them anyway and destroy them. One time, she even pitched one into the fireplace. I got called “devil spawn” if I wrote with profanity or anything that was considered out there in my strict religious home (spoiler: a lot was considered “out there” in my strict religious home).
“Let’s do an experiment,” Justin said.
The truth is that once upon a time, I thought words were limitless. And that I could be limitless, too — if only I could get good enough at expressing myself. That if I could simply string together the correct combination of words that I could unlock the doors that I watched my friends walk effortlessly through. The ones that were opened via the elite summer boarding programs that their parents wrote the big checks for.
I recently went over 439 unfinished drafts from the past 4-5 years and finished or deleted them. How many did I keep? How many did I delete?