(This post first appeared on Substack: Writing Magick with Maggie Sunseri. Click to subscribe.)
The Lost Witches of Aradia universe no longer merely exists inside my brain. It’s a world that will live and breathe in the minds of others. (That’s magick, baby!) Though an innate, instinctual part of me is horrified by the idea of people reading these hundreds of pages of the innermost parts of my soul, I am also beyond excited to start finally doing some reaping after months upon months of sowing.
I knew on an unrealized kind of level that indie publishing would be hard. But it was impossible for me to ascertain just how difficult it would be until I was in the eye of the storm. After completing Book 3 in late August, I shifted over into the branding, marketing, and publishing side of my career—the part I had been absolutely dreading. I love learning about new things, but learning how to do new things drives me a little nuts. I prefer to instantly be great at everything with little effort toward mastering skills. So, like, a very realistic and helpful attitude to have when launching your own business, right?
Yeah… no. Not helpful at all. I quickly realized I’d have to learn to thrive in the uncomfortable space of unknowing because in this business, trial and error rules supreme. You learn, you practice, and you hit the publish/send/done button with reckless abandon until you figure it all out. I took an amazing course on self-publishing with Mark Dawson, and I’m about to take another of his courses all about ads. I have to keep reminding myself that a couple months ago I knew barely anything about the ins and outs of the publishing world, and now I have a solid brand and two books up for pre-order. I have full faith and confidence I’ll figure out ads and promotions much in the same way.
Being an indie creative is hard, and I’m not blind to the enormous amount of support and privilege I have to be able to do all of this in the first place. Putting in innumerable hours of unpaid labor over the course of a year and a half now, all for books that have yet to receive an ounce of praise from readers who don’t personally know me, is HARD. Of course I have very supportive parents and friends who have read my books, but at the end of the day, I’ve been spending the past several months pouring my blood, sweat, and tears into a dream built only upon the basis of mere blind faith. I don’t have any encouragement or adoration from fans pouring in, and my new business is firmly in the red.
But, I do have three written books, a fourth, fifth, and sixth plotted out and on the way, and I have this feeling in the pit of my gut that I’ve had since I was eight years-old—the feeling that I was born for this. It’s an indescribable, terribly sacred and vulnerable type of faith. I still break down in a heap of plaguing doubt and self-criticism and defeat every other day, but there’s this little seed of innate knowing inside of me that always brings me back. That which forces me to put one foot in front of the other and to keep moving. It’s something that’s been leading me through this great tapestry of existence as if by an invisible thread, ever since I could remember. I always just knew.
Unsurprisingly, the concept of weaving fates and faith in the Universe is a major plot point in my occultish, witchy books. My main character Áine was born for something too, and the road is dark and often obscured, with faith and hope often lost to the currents of grief, confusion, and fear. That is the hero’s journey, after all—the journey of all of us, according to Joseph Campbell—and I have to agree. One of my favorite recent quotes of his from the The Power of Myth is, “I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” More on Campbell at a later date, as I have a LOT to say about the man and his beautiful, life-affirming work.
Back to The Lost Witches of Aradia… like I mentioned previously in my stream of consciousness jumble, Books 1 and 2 are now up for pre-order! They’ll be available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play, both as ebooks and print. (As of the time of publishing, they aren’t available in print copies or on B&N or Google Play just yet.) Click here to order Book 1 or read the description.
Book 1, The Discovered, releases January 4th. The Coveted February 4th. The Illuminated March 4th. The Hunted sometime in April. TBD for The Scorned and Untitled Book 6, but hopefully all six will be published in 2022. As for how many more will be a part of the Lost Witches universe… we’ll just have to wait and see what channels through! I have a feeling these characters are nowhere near done with me.
Manifesting that with the release of these books, this cozy little community we’re building here on Substack will grow by leaps and bounds in 2022! In the mean time, I’ve got several topics on queue to explore in the coming months, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you have any preferences or burning questions you’d like answered. Potential future topics include:
- Introduction to how I use tarot cards + tarot card theory
- Is BDSM patriarchal?
- Occult theory and chaos magick
- Writing and art as a form of magick/spirituality
- An exploration of the modern sex positivity movement
- How I made 2021 my best year yet + practical tips to make 2022 yours (habit formation, neuroscience hacks, killer morning routines, and more!)
- How I use my bullet journal
- Thoughts on the mental health crisis (sociology degree, it’s your time to shine!)
- Why I went down the indie path instead of seeking to be traditionally published
- What makes a witch? And why is Gen Z the most witchy generation yet?
- And a few more that are too spicy (and personal) to reveal just yet…
That’s it for today, folks. I still actually have no idea what I’m doing, like, ever. But I’m doing it, and that’s what matters.
(This post first appeared on Substack: Writing Magick with Maggie Sunseri. Click to subscribe, like, or leave a comment. This newsletter is currently 100% free, but if you want a way to support me you could always share my posts with your friends or Buy Me a Coffee. Or you could buy my kinky witch books!)