Six years have passed since I conceptualized Skepticism. Although, I would’ve liked to have published the manuscript by now, the long wait for the edits to fall in line and to be at a place in life where I can dedicate time to promoting it has been worth it. I’ve determined a little over a month after graduation come Wednesday, June 27, 2018 on PTSD awareness day, Skepticism will be available.
Saturday, November 19, 2011 like most seventeen-year-old high school seniors I was fretting over what was to come after graduation. I was weighing my option granted my SAT and ACT scores, cram studying for finals and end of semester projects. Amid, all the progression something within me had shattered. Just a semester ago, I had experienced several negative incidents in relation to writing. Those failures broke my spirit. My passion wilted, and I questioned my ability.
Writing had always been my love. I wasn’t the best yet I worked with my awkward prose, syntax and bad grammar to form compelling short stories. I admit a lot of my past stories were subpar, but without them I couldn’t have churned out two novels and I’d hate to imagine how mediocre I’d still write had I not wrote Skepticism.
I glared at the bright empty Microsoft word document. I’d told my mother I’d never write again. It was the source of my shame. How could I fail at the one thing I had going for me? Most of 2011 had been a painful turn of events. Writing was my release. It was the only way I could express myself. Communication wasn’t my strongest suit.
A writing prompt formed in my mind of an angry eighteen-year-old, Ivy League freshman. He’d share my childhood trauma, misfortune, and misanthropic thoughts. Yet rather than relying on faith and a belief in a God he’d cleave to his skepticism and disdain for religion to explain the unresolved trauma, unexplained events and hallucinations. His denial of not only a higher power but his diagnosis of PTSD would be his greatest asset, but a source of great frustration to both himself and the reader.
In a way this prompt allowed me to explore a world foreign to my own. A world I’d never dreamed possible to comprehend. Each chapter I wrote brought out new questions. I entertained perspectives outsidemy realm of comfort and researched concepts I’d otherwise ignore.
When someone writes a novel whether it’s about magic or coming of age, there’s no way it won’t transform them. Committing six years and counting of my life to Skepticism has been one of my greatest investments. Sure it’s not on a shelf yet. There’s no saying Skepticism it will be a huge success. If fame and fortune were my end goal, there’s no way I would’ve stuck with this project this long. All the sacrifices I’ve had to make and time spent writing could’ve been used graduating college earlier, making a steady income, interning, or building relationships as I’ve balanced working on my novels with being a fulltime college student. In the process of working on Skepticism a second novel blossomed, Volatile. Not everyone has been understanding of my work as an author. Many view it as a hobby, pipe dream and excuse for not working a “real” job. The discipline of sticking with a project you’re not profiting monetarily from for over half a decade isn’t easy yet I can’t imagine where I’d be today if I hadn’t gotten over my mountain of fears to write Skepticism.