My father always told me:
You have a bad habit of over-explaining things. Not everyone needs to know why you do things. What you do and why you do it is nobody’s business.”
He told me this countless times throughout my life, in that gruff and commanding voice of his – I even heard it in my head as I typed those words, though he has been gone many years now. I never listened.
Despite his firm words of warning, this tendency I’ve had to over-explain things has never changed so I’ve learned to embrace the idea that it is just a part of who I am and always will be. I like to think the reason I love giving thorough explanations is two-fold. Fold one being, I am story-teller and I get immense joy from crafting a tale or even simply explaining something deeply so someone else might find value in what I’m sharing. Fold two is, I am inherently inquisitive with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I seek masses of information, so it feels natural to also provide it.
I often wonder how many other writers, storytellers, and artists share this similar compulsion to ‘tell all’. I hope this paints a better picture for you of why I am about to over-explain myself. If you find that what I am sharing below just isn’t necessary, at least you have a solid understanding of why I’m compelled to share it in the first place.
Who am I, really?
Funny question, isn’t it? Who are you, really? Do any of us even know how to answer that properly? Well, right now I am a writer, blogger to be exact. At 6:10 pm, I was a self-published author, checking my KDP dashboard to ensure my latest non-fiction title (of a different pen name) was maintaining steady sales after an ad campaign. This morning, I was a barista in my very own kitchen crafting a perfectly brewed coffee for my husband before he headed off to work. Last night I was a chef, crafting a hearty meal for three tough critics who became disgusted by the vegetable sides I’d prepared. But really, though, who the hell am I?
For the most part, I am an artist and that is the best one-word answer I can provide. I’ll even go so far as to share that yes, I am a successful artist with awards, accolades, international recognition and some publicity, just not known as Lydia Crane. So we are clear on this, I’m not talking big like Angelina Jolie type big. Chances are unless you follow certain art circles very closely, you wouldn’t even know me.
That really is the furthest I wish to let the cat out of the bag for anyone who may become deeply curious about the mysterious new romance author, Lydia Crane who seemingly appeared from thin air. It is my desire to keep that portion of my career separate from this, my fiction writing. I expect the closest blending of the two worlds will be that I can hire myself as a cover designer.
It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, to know what success tastes like. I know it like an old lover, to the very sweetness of its core, including the tough bits still stuck firmly in my teeth. I live and experience it daily and though I am grateful for it (because I worked my ass off for years to achieve it) I am also desperate for fresh creative freedom again. My soul yearns for the ability to pursue other passions – this, writing freely. Writing fiction.
To anyone who hasn’t yet experienced success with public recognition, I can honestly say that as much as it is wonderful it is also incredibly confining. In it’s worst moments, it’s like being thrust under a microscope, naked and cold so that others may creepily watch your every move and judge each word you say simply because they can. Who could know that by getting great at something, you may not be allowed to do what you want anymore because you’ve become trapped by that very same greatness?
Lucky for us, as writers and creatives that we may adopt a nom de plume. We can anonymously try our hand at other things, even successfully which I expect while writing fiction. Some may find me pompous or arrogant in expecting success and if you do, let me assure you I am neither. On the contrary, I’m incredibly humble thanks to meeting rock bottom long ago and knowing I’d never go back to that place ever again. What I am is confident and certain of my ability to work tirelessly until I achieve what I desire and it is that very attitude that has led me to success in other areas.
In addition to being all those things listed above, another important thing that makes me ‘me’ is that I am intensely self-driven. I have a slight obsession with seeing what I am capable of, particularly in creative pursuits and in areas that challenge my skills and abilities. I love growth and I get a rush from pushing myself and achieving what others say cannot be easily done. A rebel with a cause.
Interestingly, it doesn’t stop there because I then like streamlining processes so I can help others easily and effectively achieve similar or better outcomes themselves. My non-fiction titles are centered on this and do well because of my passion for seeing others succeed – no gimmicks, no fluff, no BS, just tried and tested steps to succeed. Why help others? Easy. Because it’s lonely at the top and nobody wants to watch that beautiful sunrise alone.
Now that I have your attention
For anyone still reading, thanks. You’ve helped prove that my over-explaining served a purpose and it is now you and only you that I am writing for. I’m glad I finally have you alone. It feels so… intimate now, doesn’t it? I’ve got you right where I want you. Just relax and take in a slow, deep breath. That’s it, I’ll be gentle. I promise. Wait sorry, wrong story.
Perhaps to be continued.