You all thought I crashed and burned or maybe got buried in a mound of my own candy wrappers, didn’t you?
I mean, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Eating candy IS my principal hobby, and I also am a very poor operator of motor vehicles. But here’s what really happened.
I got tired.
2016 is the last time I blogged – like over a year ago, my how time flies when you’re not paying any attention to it! Let’s review.
In 2016, I had my worst creative year EVER.
I wrote a book. It didn’t work at all and fizzled out maybe halfway through? The troubling thing was that I usually fizzle out at 10 or 15k if something isn’t going to work, so the fact that I fizzled at almost 40k was terrifying to me. I was scared the book was a huge waste of time and maybe I’d forgotten how to write because I’d spent so much time tearing apart and putting back together the book before this that maybe my brain didn’t know how to make new things anymore.
I took a break and tried it again, this time fizzling out around 20k with a draft that absolutely one hundred percent was not working whatsoever. I revisited that same first book and tore it apart and put it back together yet again.
Then I came back to the knife book. It was, by then, a solid six – seven months into 2016 and I had exactly nothing to show for it – nothing but a whole lot of thrown-away words and a story idea that was maybe just too hard for me.
In this stretch of time I went to a writing retreat, which I’ll blog about more soon because HELLO LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE, but while there I finally gave knife book a third chance.
And at LAST I managed to finish the draft. It’s not a great book and idk if I’ll come back to it but IT EXISTS and I FINISHED SOMETHING.
I word vomited a 50k draft of an adult novel for NaNo and then, exhausted, I took all of December off and tried to recover, mentally and emotionally, from what was essentially a torturous year.
This brings us to 2017. Here’s a summary of these three months so far:
1) Read 14.5 books
2) Wrote over 100,000 words, including finishing a draft of a YA fantasy and a draft of a chapterbook somewhat related to my dayjob.
3)Celebrated one year of learning that my neurological symptoms were largely caused by food allergies and being able to have good health again.
4)Plotted out a new book that gets my storytelling heart all fluttery.
5)A few other things I’ll blog about in the future.
I guess the main point of this post is to plant a flag for a fresh start. And maybe to assure you that fresh starts are still possibilities. I am not a good blogger, as a rule, but I want to be. Last year I didn’t think I had anything in me. No humor, no words of advice, no strength. It was my year of absorbing strength from others and spending the introvert time I needed to grow and flourish inside myself. Now I’m ready to put back into the world, in thanks for all I’ve received, and in celebration of the fact that new beginnings happen all the time, just when you least expect them.
One year ago, in March, I was at the beginning of a very big, bold journey. I’ll tell you about it sometime. It has to do with my physical health, with releasing old mental and emotional fears and wounds that resulted from years of struggling with my physical health, and with the relationship between creativity and courage. Now I’m not nearly at the end, but I’m far enough along to see how long the road is and REJOICE over it, instead of mourn. As my favorite literary heroine Anne Shirley says, every road has a bend in it, and it’s possible to be excited about what’s around the next one.
Okay, enough seriousness and also enough words because HELLO VERY LONG POST. As I prepare to actually start using this thing again, is there anything you want me to blog about, friends? Anything you really want to know, or want advice about, or just have a burning desire to discuss?
Here’s to words and rainy days and ALL THE COFFEE