Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Am Aurora

I've been part of a writing group for a few years now. It's made up of a great, wonderful group of women from all over the world. They're sweet, supportive, and know how to make each other laugh when those rejections and bad reviews roll in. My critique partners all come from this group. We've shared not only our writing over the years, but friendship through texts, phone calls, little gifts through the mail, and even the occasional real-life meet up.

They're really great. Don't get me wrong.

But they're also super competitive. They'll have your back today and gladly stab you in it tomorrow. They thrive on the drama -- hey, we're writers after all. There's cliques within the group and a hierachy very reminiscent of my high school days. Your worth in the group is measured by your success.

It's exhausting to deal with it all sometimes. I know I'm repeating myself, but I am an introvert. As a little girl, the lure of being a full-time novelist to me was not having to deal with people. To hole up in my room with the characters in my head all day seemed like the perfect life. But that was before the internet. Before social media. Today being online and interacting with readers and fellow writers is part of the gig.

The pressure is crazy. Everything moves so fast. The girl being secretly trashed yesterday might just get that big deal or award today and everybody will be scrambling to suck up to her. Drama is always blowing up every other day it seems, and I think there is a fear that if you aren't around and available and part of everything, that it will be you who will become the latest 'gossip subject'. That if you disappear, your 'standing' in the group will slip.

To be honest, I hate the drama and I'm a horrible competitor. Sometimes I wish I was better at it...I really do. Because the better you can play the game, the further you seem to go. I dunno...maybe it's the little in me or something, but sometimes I just really really wish we could all be ourselves with each other. No judgment. That we could truly be friends.

Before TTWD I was drowning in all of this. There was blogging, tumblr, the gazillion facebook groups I belong to, e-mail, twitter, and keeping up with reading the newest book releases. There would be conversations and chats that would go to all hours of the night, and then I'd have to be up early the next morning to work the day job. I'd have to find time to write, revise, critique all their work, write blog posts, tweet, tumble, and still keep up with them. And that doesn't even cover the havoc the drama played on my emotions.

But Daddy stepped in and placed limits. He's helped me to prioritize what is important and let go of what isn't. He's brought peace and order to that part of my life.

Sometimes it's still overwhelming to me -- all these roles I play. Mother, daughter, friend, sister, author. There's the 'me' those girls in the group know. They know her real name, where she lives, the names of her children. They know the titles of her books, what she's working on right now, what she looks like, where she was born, what her voice sounds like. They know all these things. Yet, they know so little of who she is.

Because with them it's a game. It's a suck-it-up-and-bite-your-tongue-and-smile game. It's the gush-over-the-top-dogs game. It's the pretend-you're-somebody's-best-friend-and-bitch-behind-her-back game.

I know these games exist everywhere - not just in high school or writing. They run through all areas of life -- people are 'playing the game' in their jobs, in their families, in friendships, maybe even in their marriages. I often wonder if there are more out there like me. Maybe everyone's like me. Deep down maybe we all hate the drama. Hate the judgement. Hate the game.

Sometimes when I post here and see the view count grow and nobody says anything, I get panicky. I start worrying about saying something wrong or coming off like a know-it-all or too judgmental. I'll start to want to censor myself.

But then Daddy will stop and remind me, I write for him, not others. He wants the deep down real stuff. And he's given me a safe place to do that by moderating the comments to keep the judgment away.

Here, there is no game to play.

Aurora's not my real name and Daddy's no Phillip (but I think you know that). I can't share the names or details of the books I write. I have to be careful not to reveal too much about where I live and you'll never find a real picture of me.

But this is me -- the real me. Submissive, slave, little--they aren't roles I play. They are at the very core of me. I really am Aurora hiding behind my real name in my real life. And I get to quit the game, step off the stage, take off the makeup...

I get to live...

To exist.


  1. Oh, I so get all of this! I've just started the writing game in earnest and I'm faced with all sorts of social networks which normally I steer clear of and only my personal blog feels like the complete me.
    I talked about it with P this lunchtime and his only major concern is always privacy and it does feel like I'm walking a knife edge some days.
    I glad you're able to come here and share, it is very liberating, even if we have to use pseudonyms.

    1. The social networks are exhausting. Best advice I got was to pick one or two that you're most comfortable on and that the majority of your readers (genre/age group) tend to hang out on and focus on them instead of trying to do it all.
      I know that knife edge a little well. I've definitely slipped and cut myself on it before.

  2. I so get all this too. It's life .. the way the "mythical" THEY want you to play. I avoid that like the plague. I hate drama ... I hate competing .. I hate the game. I don't suck up & I don't ass kiss (just ask William Shatner! .. true story). Seriously, I would not say that I am extroverted because I am not (unless I get pissed off) ... I just refuse to play by "their" rules, and you know what? It's amazing, how accepting "they" have become!

    1. Okay now I'm really curious about this 'William Shatner story.' lol

      I've always been the 'doormat that gets sucked in' sort of thing but not so much anymore. I'm still pretty new to this pushing back and not always 'playing by their rules' and so far the reactions have been mixed. For me I'm finding it's way less stress this way, and I'm a much happier person.

  3. Oh & I forgot to add that I think that YOU ... AURORA, are pretty fantastic!!!!!

  4. Aurora, LOVE this post for you. How odd that the "real" life us is the one here that is hidden. You seem to really get it and I am loving that I get to learn all about YOU on your blog here!! Thanks for posting this one.

    1. Thank you very much Pearl!

      It is really odd to think of. But is sure is nice to be here and have a place to be real.

  5. I hate the drama, games and judgement too. That is what I love about blogging, it's the one place we can share and truly be ourselves.