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  • Kate Forest

You know what would be fun? Anything but writing a book.

This is torture.

If I wanted to do something for fun, I’d play mah jongg. I’d go for a hike. I’d take a cooking class. (That last one is a joke. That sounds like worse torture.)

Writing is not fun. It’s not a leisure time activity. It’s something writers do because they need to tell stories. These don’t have to be deep meaningful stories. Stories that challenge people’s world views. They can be entertaining stories, funny stories. But at some RWA conference I heard, “It’s not easy to write a story that’s easy to read.”

So after years of labor and months of preparation, I am releasing my first full length story.

What am I most nervous about? Bad reviews? Rejection? No, I can take criticism of my writing. Just ask my critique partners. They are a brutal bunch. They regularly beat me over the head and neck with their comments and suggestions. But I come out of that beating with a much better page.

And there are trolls out there who will trash my book purely because they enjoy the fleeting high from belittling someone else. No. I’m most concerned people will say, “Your story is false. Your message is untrue.”

But the truth my characters’ lives is a truth. It might not be everyone’s experience, but it could be many peoples. Fiction isn’t completely made up. Yes, the situations we put our characters in can be farfetched, even impossible.

“People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”

― Neil Gaiman

Story characters are humans (even when they’re not human) and they experience the world they way us reals experience it. And that’s what I want people to connect with. See yourself as a someone else, someone with a struggle you’ll hopefully never have. And live that difficult life.

So wish me luck, wish me ill, or just ignore me. I’m doing what I need to do.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making're Doing Something.”

― Neil Gaiman

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