The prequel for my romantic suspense series, Fight It Out, is almost finished, and I’m so freaking excited.
I’m a writer, so finishing another book is just part of the process, right? Except, it hasn’t been so easy for the last three years.
We could blame it on the pandemic, but honestly, it was multiple reasons, all bundled into one. For me, self-doubt, curiosity, and health were big factors in writing new stories or creating new recipes.
Writing a book is both equal parts exciting and frightening. You’re putting yourself out there for the world to see and hoping people like what you create. It’s intense.
Because my past included the words “You’re not a good writer,” I’ve had to work extra hard to fight against my self-doubt. (You can read more about that story here.)
The other big reason I experienced these feelings was that I wasn’t a big-name author, so I always thought I had to prove to myself and the world that my books were fun and full of food love.
There was a point several years into the journey when I had this pull to add something else to my world. I had questioned several times if books and recipes were enough. (That, of course, was my self-doubt leading the way). This is when curiosity hit.
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I have been in the online space for almost thirteen years.
In 2010, I launched a food blog because I had so many recipe ideas floating around in my head. My first blog was called CafeTerraBlog; now, it’s my legacy blog because I retired it four or five years later.
Then, in 2014, I published my first romance book. It was the scariest thing I had ever done because now it was available for millions of people to read.
When I published my first book, I knew my food love would be included in every story. You can find food ideas, inspiration, and recipes on every page.
Things were good. I was writing new stories every year. Ideas were constantly flowing.
Then, curiosity happened.
I saw a social media post about online courses. My mind wandered away from my books and recipes, and I was curious about helping others with everything I had learned.
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I’m going to declare 2023 the year of self-discovery. Do you have a year where you felt this same way?
I started my blogging and writing journey with extreme self-doubt, but I still weathered the storm, published 40 books, and built a beautiful audience of readers who love reading each story.
Plus, I let curiosity play a big part in my life (thank you, self-doubt). Those feelings took me away from the writing and recipe path for a few years. I started thinking I was supposed to be doing something else.
The only problem, I wasn’t fully happy.
My mental health started to play a part in my decisions. The keywords that would trigger a spiral into a bad space were “should” and “have to.”
Over the last thirteen years, little moments shifted my thinking and made me believe I had to do things in a specific way.
Leave “Should” and “Have To” At The Door:
There is no should or have to in our journey; it’s about what brings us joy.
For me, writing and creating recipes makes me smile.
This self-discovery has been huge because it has helped my mental health. I have found other ways to be curious (like testing new recipes) and new ways to step into the uncomfortable (work alongside my self-doubt).
Time To Celebrate:
The prequel I’m finishing was a book I wanted to write a few years ago. I’m so excited to share Charlie and Brooks’ extra story.
It’s fun to finish a book, but typing the two words “The End” also means I can start writing another book in the Fight It Out series. EEP!
If you want to enjoy strong female characters, mixed martial arts, gritty romantic suspense, and, yes, I talk about food, too, you can check out the series here.
P.S. I’m feeling self-doubt with this post, but here you go!