“Say what you wanna say
Just let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave”
– Sarah Bareilles, Brave
I’ve been very brave as of late, and that’s what I want to blog about tonight. By nature, I am not a brave person. I’m a hobbit – and not like Bilbo or Frodo. I’m the Sackville-Bagginses, who stay behind in the shire and wait for the adventurers to come back*.
(*Yes, that nerd out did just happen.)
My bravery recently comes from exposing myself – or rather, exposing Suni. Who is Suni (sounds like Sunny, but I’m an odd duck, so I spelled it weird)? Suni is my alter-ego, the dramatic voice in my head who throws hissy fits, and the person who writes all the books. Suni is the drama queen – the one who would rather sit in the corner and cry her eyes out, the one who screams and throws tantrums when things doesn’t go her way. Sometimes, especially when I’m tired or particularly weak, she’ll come out – guns blaring, opinions blasting, and taking everyone – including me – by surprise. She holds onto things WAY longer than is probably healthy, chewing on a problem until it has no flavor and then sticking it in her hair. She and I argue constantly over things – I say she’s too dramatic, she wants to write something super emotional and cry about it. I say I’m frustrated at work, she says to quit our job and make millions of dollars writing books. I tell her she’s in a fantasy world and she goes off into the corner to pout.
Suni manifested herself during that horrible time in elementary/middle school when everyone just gets mean. When I literally had no friends, and going to school was an exercise in humiliation and solitude. She was there, with the rowdy cast of characters from my books, to comfort me and offer escape. It didn’t matter if I was lonely, or sad, or depressed – as long as I had my “mind palace” (to borrow a phrase), I could always be happy. I had constant companionship no matter where I found myself.
So, as you might imagine, as I became an adult, and the childhood traumas faded (slightly), Suni couldn’t throw temper tantrums and hissy fits. I had to be stable, normal, in charge, and with my shit together. But she’s still up there, offering commentary on things, being the creative side of me and solving problems at work. Nobody – not even my (ex) boyfriend of six and a half years – knew she was up there, because I was afraid to let her out. I was afraid to show people that I’m not just this career-driven, high performing, marathon-running, dog-rescuing consultant. I have this whole other side to me – this creative, dramatic, and deeply emotional side of me that has seven novel series up in her head in varying stages of completion.
I’ve recently been seeing a therapist (yikes, that’s a brave admission) to work through some issues, and for the first time, I acknowledged – out loud – that Suni is up there. And dammit, she wanted to be heard. Saying it out loud, and having said therapist not respond that I was crazy, was pretty awesome. And that’s why I decided to bring Suni out completely, and publish her words – yes, they are her words. And that is why my nom de plume is “S.” Usher Evans. I’m just here to work and pay the bills to support Suni’s creative writing habit.
So why is exposing Suni so brave? I had a panic attack when I set up her Facebook page – what was I doing, letting everyone know I wrote science fiction novels, people will totally laugh at me and make fun of me (hello middle school). And it was so scary to speak about the world that had lived in my head for years and years and let other people see it. It’s such an intimate part of me.
But not to you internet people that I’ve never met – I don’t care about you (no, actually, I love you for caring about me even though we’ve never met). Was was more terrifying were people who actually know me in flesh and blood. People I like, and care about, and whose opinions of me – and friendships – mean the world. But, you know, I did it anyways. And everyone was super supportive about it.
So I’m continuing to be brave – to share the vampiric pieces of myself that have never seen the light of day (vampiric is not to be taken literally, I have no books on vampires, thankfully). To open myself up to the fact that if I get laughed at, if I get rejected, that it’s not the end of the world. And my friends – true friends – will love me even if I spend my time writing about a silly little bounty hunter named Razia. Or a little girl with magic named Torie. Or Zaida. Or Anna (list goes on and on…)
And anyone who doesn’t can go f#&k themselves.
Whoops, that was Suni talking. 🙂
So I shall continue to be brave and honest. And if I run away blushing when you ask me about my book, just wait a few minutes, maybe I’ll emerge from my hobbit hole and open the door to Narnia on platform 9 and 3/4.
(Yes, that was three nerd book references in one sentence.)
Side Note – Writing this blog entry, I have started to see shades of Razia/Lyssa. And wow, is that kind of cool/weird/strange/interesting at how much my own insecurities are bleeding into the main character of my book. I guess Hemmingway was right, “There is nothing to writing. You simply sit at a typewriter and bleed.”
I love your honesty and sometimes, we all need to let out the truths that have been hiding away for far too long. I am very excited to see Razia in print.
Very thoughtful, honest, and very encouraging.