The Hardest Part About Writing by Darby Harn – Guest Blog and Giveeway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Darby Harn will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The hardest part about writing is…

Doubt. There is no greater impediment to writing, or any creative endeavor, than self-doubt. That voice in your head that says You can’t do this, or I’m not good enough, or No one will care, is the only antagonist in the story of your being a writer. You’re going to face many challenges – the more you do, the more success you’re having – but the first, best, and last villain in your journey is your own doubt.

I wrote A Country of Eternal Light largely in 2015 and 2016. I sought agents and publishers, without success, through 2019. I also struggled with whether to even do so. This is a deeply personal book to me, a great creative risk in my telling this story from the perspective of an Irish woman, and I wasted a lot of time thinking it had no value at all. It took me years to find the courage to publish it now in 2021.

In some way I still doubt its value, and mine, but I also know its worth. This is a story that resonates with people when they read it. More than that, this is why I write. It’s to tell stories. It’s to share stories and connect with people, on some level. I have to fight that doubt, that indecision, that fear, every day. Some days it’s debilitating. What is the point? Does anyone care? Am I making a fool of myself?

But this isn’t the voice you need to listen to. As a writer, you are living in language. Your greatest asset is your pair of ears. Listen to the world. The way people talk. How they talk, what they say, what they don’t say. Listen to the rush of the river and the creak of the trees. Listen to the whine of the rocks as the waves crash into them. Focus on the world and all its music and you won’t hear that nagging doubt so much anymore. All those voices you collect in the world will keep in your writing, and keep you plenty distracted.

A rogue black hole tears apart the solar system. Mairead’s life is already in pieces.

The Earth has less than a year to survive.

Asteroids rain hell; earthquakes rattle cities; manic tides swamp coasts. Mairead intends to give herself to the erratic waves that erode her remote Irish island, the same that claimed her child. When Gavin, an American, arrives to scatter his father’s ashes, she becomes torn between wanting for life and death.

Despite the tides, fuel shortages, and closing borders that threaten to trap him on the island, Gavin can’t seem to scatter the ashes. He doesn’t know how to let go any more than Mairead does and they find a strange comfort in their confusion.

Their affair draws Mairead back to the world of the living, but the longer Gavin stays, the more it seems there might be a future for them. There is no future.

Life closes down around them. The world they know shreds. Life drains into an inescapable abyss. And yet Mairead fights, both the gravity of her grief and the restless, dissonant desire to find some kind of peace no matter how brief.

Enjoy an Excerpt

There is success in death.

Fish flop in confusion as the sea peels back to the mainland. Dinner tonight. Breakfast tomorrow, if I’m thinking of tomorrow. I leave them in the goopy, gasping muck. I keep walking. I am far now, farther than I can run when the tide returns. Bereft water jostles in pitted rock. Strands of seaweed coil around my feet. I feel your pull.

Here I am.

This buzz in the air. The tide coming back, surely. I look up, expectant. Meteors rip through the blue, faster than any wish can catch. Broken stalks of rainbows on the horizon. Comets like white lies. Three more today, competing with the big one they call Medusa, with all her snake tails.

I wait for my success.

The sea must have run off to the States with everyone else. That buzz again. Louder. Closer. The turboprop from the mainland comes out of nowhere. The plane hasn’t been over in weeks. Most days, high tide swamps the eastern horn of the island, the bit of Inishèan that can accommodate a runway. Right next to the cemetery.

Take offs and landings.

The sea is out. The plane is able to make a landing. He might have medicine, the pilot. Food. He’ll have room, for the trip back to Galway. Someone will get delivered today.

About the Author:Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell and other venues.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Darby Harn says

    Thank you for hosting!

  3. I love the cover and think the book sounds good.

  4. Victoria Alexander says

    Great post, I enjoyed reading it!

  5. I enjoyed the guest post.

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