I want to start this blog post off by apologizing for falling off the face of the earth.
I had intended this wordpress to be a place for updates and in keeping myself accountable regarding my journey in creating the world of Edenarth, and in establishing The Chronicles of Royal High. Sadly, self doubt and social anxiety kept me from doing just that. I made little headway over the years on this beloved world of mine, and as such, I felt like nothing I had to say was worth putting out there. Years passed, and I felt like because I wasn’t published, or at least even remotely done with the first novel, then I really should just sit down and shut up. I was all talk and no bang, and, quite frankly, I felt embarrassed of myself.
To be a real writer, one needs to write (or so I told myself).
This sort of imposter syndrome created a really toxic headspace, and because of guilt, I withdrew from doing a lot of things I loved.
If you have time to relax, you can write, my rather cruel brain would echo.
You’re going out with with your friends, but you should be finishing your novel, it would scoff bitterly.
Why are you enjoying that video game when you should be editing your dumb book?
You’re sleeping again? Why are you so lazy?
Why can’t you just concentrate for once?
I questioned everything I did, and I continually sat on this novel series, never really getting that last chapter done. Self sabotage all the way. I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I often felt the constricting failure creep around me; failure because, at one time, I had told everyone my aspirations for this thing, and whenever they would ask when they could read it, my instinctual answer was, “Oh, soon!”
And soon never came.
Eventually, I had a good friend point something out to me.
“You’re scared of it,” they said.
Who, me? Scared? No way, I thought.
I have wanted this more than anything in my entire life. I want to see Edenarth realized, I want Adella and her friends to have life. I want people to connect with them in the way that I have! I want this fandom to be real. I want it all.
Funny thing is, they say we don’t see ourselves all that clearly. It sometimes takes that outside perspective.
And in the last year, I realized this friend was right: I was scared.
Putting my writing into this perspective changed a lot for me. I hate confrontation. I hate problems that are hard to solve. I can be lazy, absolutely. But I do not run from truth. We must embrace truth.
And I realized that my truth was that I, in fact, was scared. I was scared of rejection. I was scared of trying so hard, and getting nothing. I am scared of what The Chronicles of Royal High can be. Scared of the wonderful, joyous new fandom that this WILL be. I am scared of it all, the good and the bad.
But you know the one thing about fear that makes it worth it?
We cannot have courage without fear.
And the biggest fear came when, as a “gift” unto me, I was secured a table at Long Beach Comic Expo 2018 to sell my books. The book that I have claimed was “almost done” for the last three years. Essentially, I was called out, and the fear of failing my loved ones pushed me to do something really insane.
I completed the The Chronicles of Royal High: The Lost Noble in five weeks. Five weeks of nonstop pouring over it. Five weeks of editing and painstakingly formatting it. Five weeks to collaborate on all of the art and the book cover with my Dad, Ed Litfin (who, by the way, has some crazy design skills). Five weeks to get the booth setup together, the banners, to self publish it, and to order the actual book shipment. Five weeks to secure my seller’s permit, the business license, and update all of my social media. All of it, in five weeks.
I became a hermit. For those of you who have known me, for the month of January, I was a freaking hermit.
And now, it is done. It. Is. Finished. FINALLY.
The fear of failing curated this intense courage to not take no for an answer, because failing was not an option to me. And now, The Chronicles of Royal High: The Lost Noble is officially done. It is one week until Long Beach Comic Expo 2018, and as I sit here writing this, I have been living in an intense few days of euphoria. I’m excited and relieved. My anxiety, at least in a positive way, is at an all time high. I cannot wait for next weekend.
And so I close with this: overcoming fear is one of the most powerful things, second only to true love. If courage and love abound in your heart, then you truly can do anything. I felt lost, but all it took was one snap moment, and the refusal to take failure as an answer.
– R. Litfin