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.”
2/25/2023 08:36:01 am
Congratulations, Erin, on your new adventure. Congratulations on listening to your needs and finding a path to releasing the stress and adding more joy. Believe in yourself, you're going to be fine.
2/25/2023 08:41:30 am
Honey we are with you and cannot wait to watch you fly. So proud of you my friend. You got this!
2/25/2023 08:50:22 am
that's so awesome! congrats.
2/25/2023 09:05:30 am
I’m so happy for you! Never hold on to the anchors of the past. They just drag you down. You’re amazing and talented. Look on, bullies. Be amazed.
2/25/2023 09:33:35 am
I feel this in my bones!!! So very happy for you!! We truly do only get one life and I love and admire that you’re living yours to the fullest! I also want to thank you for your vulnerability. I know our in person interaction were only for a very short time but you made a lasting impact on me. So thankful for social media that I can watch you succeed even though you’re not in my daily life. Sending all the love and well wishes!! :)
2/25/2023 11:23:35 am
Congratulations on the choice to take care of yourself. Love your books, love your characters.Keep going.
2/25/2023 01:30:31 pm
Not many take this leap without knowing where or how they'll land. Not many take it at all. But you did it! Congratulations! You have a most excellent support system, which helps so much. You're doing the work and the results so far are obvious. You don't sound scared; you sound like you know this was the best decision. We're all behind you. We've all got your back. Keep doing what you love and what you do so, so well!
Lee Ann Gray
2/25/2023 02:41:17 pm
I know this adventure will work out for you. You are a terrific writer. And more time to work on it will only be better. I was so excited when you asked me to review Guarding Evelyn. It is an awesome book. I look forward to more. Take care of yourself. And if you need anything. Just holler
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