As I sit here on Saturday morning sipping coffee from my Bee Positive mug, I find myself completely taken aback by the beauty of life. That’s so weird for me to say because I have always been an eternal pessimist. But in the last few months, I have worked hard to change my perspective. And one of my perspectives I’ve flipped the script on is my view on my life in particular. I am alive and living a life that takes all sorts of twists and turns. I am on the roller-coaster ride and I can do one of two things: fight it tooth and nail, or, and probably the hardest choice, I can ENJOY it. Scream when it’s necessary, sure. Cry when the moment deserves it, without a doubt. Laugh when it’s appropriate, absofuckinglutely. Smile whenever possible, you bet your ass!
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written a blog post. I think the last one was my announcement that I was going to be an independent author. I write this post now to announce something else, something that is very exciting, scary, and nerve-wracking. Today, February 25, 2023, marks the start of my journey as a full-time author.
I don’t know why I feel like it is important to tell you all this. Many reasons, I guess, but the most important one is that I made this decision because of my mental health. That may seem strange to some, completely accurate to others (probably the people closest to me), and there are I’m sure a few who couldn’t care less.
I’ve never been ashamed of the fact that my mental health is not great. The only way to remove the stigma is to be open and honest about our struggles and our triumphs. My job, operating a family business, a job I literally moved to Florida for, was a huge struggle in my life. When I say it caused 85-90% of my stress, I am not lying, nor am I exaggerating. It became apparent that I could no longer handle it in any way, mentally, physically, or emotionally. For those of you who know me, you are probably shaking your head in agreement. Stress and Erin are not good bedfellows. Yet, I tried. I tried for the past seven years to make it work, to be the white knight galloping in to save the business. I’d say I slayed quite a few dragons while employed there. But ultimately, the dragons weren’t the problem.
To quote Taylor Swift, “Hi, it’s me, I’m the problem, it’s me.”
That job was not my dream job. I was not passionate about it at all. So, while leaving was a hard decision, once I made it, I realized it was the best decision I have ever made.
I said to my wife, “I feel really badly that I’m not going to have a job.”
And she said, “But you are, you’re going to write.”
“I don’t feel like writing has ever felt like a job, though because I actually enjoy doing it.”
And that’s the point. Writing, creating stories and characters for people to fall in love with, the entire process—from start to finish—is what I am passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I’ve been fairly positive I should take my leave and stop writing. I was bullied and made to feel like a horrible person by some fairly important people in the sapphic fiction community. But you know what? I wasn’t completely innocent, either. I said mean and hurtful things, too. Sure, it was always in defense but still, it’s not okay. I was a villain just as much as they were. And coming to terms with that hasn’t been easy, but it has been necessary. Moving on from the past is never easy. The longer we hold onto grudges and things that pissed us off, the less time we have to be genuine and happy. No one is perfect, least of all me. But I'm trying to be the happy person I used to be before I allowed heartbreak and reality and bullies took that happiness from me.
If you’re still with me, I want to thank you. Thank you for reading this blog post. Thank you for reading my books. Thank you for taking time from your busy life to spend time with me, with the characters I love so much, and with the people and places I am passionate about.
Find something to be passionate about. I can’t say this loud enough. It’s so important for our health, mental and physical.
A leaf of faith is not an easy thing to do. I commend anyone who has done it. Whether or not you fail is not the point. It’s taking the leap that matters. And as I fly through the air, hoping that I land on solid ground eventually, I salute the brave among us, the people who have shown us what successfully seeking passion looks like.
Happy reading, my friends! As my dear friend, Jackie D says, “Have the best weekend available to you.”