By Christopher Scott
I created Brokenman.net on October 1st, 2012, ostensibly to promote and sell my Broken Man series of novels. Not being a technophile, a friend helped me get started, and I was surprised at how quickly the site was up and running and the many options soon presented, including the ability to interact with my own internet community. The opportunity too good to pass up, I quickly realized that Brokenman.net could be so much more than just a sales facilitator.
I also realized I had something to say, as if writing 100,000 words of fiction hadn’t already alerted me to the possibility. But that was fiction. Stories that, although loosely based on real life people and events, didn’t fully express what I was feeling, what I was trying to get at. I had to figure out why I was writing these novels, why I’d always felt so broken. And I wondered, did other people feel the same way?
So, I decided to write.
I spent November participating in National Novel Writing month and adding content to my website. I wrote about love, about relationships, about past events, about finding a fix. A private person by nature, I found it liberating to express myself so honestly yet anonymously, and I was now able to share my thoughts on various events occurring both in my life and in the world around us.
I also showed my work to a few people, actually a couple friends and several near strangers. Their response was overwhelmingly positive, and my new readers assured me my product was good and my skills rapidly improving. Self doubt temporarily shelved, I was also informed my content was spot on, particularly in light of the difficult social and economic environment we currently face.
Throughout the autumn and into the winter, I understood I had a decision to make. Was I ready to come out of the closet as a writer? Was I ready to share my thoughts and feelings with the world? I didn’t know the answers to those questions, but I also knew it was ridiculous to continue writing while never sharing with an audience. So after cleaning up the site and adding some additional content, I decided to set a deadline for myself.
January 1st, 2013 was the date I set, the resolution I made if you will. That was the day I would go viral. The date circled on my calendar, I made it through the holidays, not sure if I’d be able to stick with the deadline.
January 1st finally arrived. The site certainly looked good, even if it contained a bevy of personal thoughts I was still uncomfortable sharing. Hoping to find a last minute excuse to not go public, I made one final run through of the site and prepared a mass email. Everything checked out, and the only all task remaining was to hit the send button.
I balked. It was truly a leap of faith moment as I decided whether or not to share these writings that might shock my audience, many of whom were family and friends. As my finger hovered over the send button, I asked myself one final time is it worth it.
Then, I hit send.