I’ve always struggled a bit with how much to share and how much to keep private. When I originally decided to publish a novel I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to publish under a pen name but ultimately decided against it. Sometimes, I do admittedly regret that. Kids talk, teachers talk. People talk. But I still haven’t really found it to be a bad thing. I always figured that I am who I am. Also, I used to “mommy blog” anonymously and found it difficult in many ways when people knew your blog but not the person behind it.
I do however occasionally wonder whether I’m doing the right thing by putting myself and my work out into the world, in a way that at times can feel very personal. There are a lot things that happen which one doesn’t foresee coming the bigger their platform grows. It’s difficult to explain and I don’t want to seem ungracious or whiny– because I’m not. Recently though I decided to take a step back after I was sued. I’m not going to say a lot about the logistics because, well, it’s just not a good idea and it’s not my style. I will say that the lawsuit had to do with the business side of publishing and not what my books contain or what anyone else’s books contain.
They say that being sued is one of the most stressful situations a person can face other than losing a loved one. And I will say that I found it very similar– in terms of the emotions you feel during the process. Having a police officer unexpectedly show up at your doorstep and having someone you do not know “demand” a five plus figure sum from you is…well, not fun. And the process and expense (energy, time, and money) of defending yourself against all of the aforementioned not fun made me really, really question whether or not I wanted to continue putting myself “out there.” Because, the truth is, there are much easier ways to earn a living.
Anyway, the lawsuit was officially dropped this week and I don’t want to say anything else about it other than I learned a lot about the litigation process and about protecting myself going forward. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t still feel hesitant about it all…about putting myself and my work out there and everything that comes with that. At the same time, I refuse to view the world as a place where one has to play it small in order to avoid threatening and not fun situations.
And then, of course, there are the signs…
On one particularly rough day I opened my nine year olds school folder and discovered this.
I saw it as a sign.
It reminded me that… I may write for myself, but I publish, and I keep going for them.
P.S. This is what I’ve been writing to. Hoizer…I’m in love and I just can’t enough.