I finally did it! I finally earned my seventh bird.
And that was where I was wrong!
Sometimes, the hardest part about writing is giving yourself enough room to fail without actually giving up. Unfortunately, I miscalculated that balance last year...BIG TIME! I was frustrated with how hard the story was coming, and how quiet the characters were being. I had a lot on my plate personally, so I decided that giving myself a break would be the right thing to do.
But then I didn't come back.
I made excuses as to why I needed more time away. I set other priorities and busied myself with trivial matters that led to unhealthy habits. Sadly, it wasn't just my writing that started to suffer, it was my own identity. I started to question who I really was and what I wanted out of life. I was in a full blown depression spiral.
Now a couple things about me personally really quick. 1) I have major anxiety. 2) I am probably on the Autism Spectrum, though I am not interested in being diagnosed. (Both my kids have been diagnosed, so it really wouldn't change my life) These two elements combined means that I don't do well with chaos. And that was exactly what my life had become.
Jane Charles (whom I had only met a handful of times, but had become a kindred spirit over the years), visited Oregon and we went on a self-guided Winery Tour.
During this tour Jane asked the very blunt question I needed to be asked.
"Why haven't you written anything new in over a year?"
I had no good answer. So her response to my mutterings was, "Finish the damn book!"
So that was the commitment I made. I was going to finish the "damn" book. But first I had to figure out why I stopped writing it to begin with.
And the answer was actually pretty simple. I HATED my outline. I felt confined by it and it was exhausting thinking about how to go about fixing that. But as I had made a commitment, so I was going to fix the problem whether I liked it or not.
So I set aside all of my previous work and started from scratch. I tweaked a couple of plot holes and reconstructed a road I had originally wanted to take with my story, and pretty soon, the words were flowing again. The outline had been a dam, and tearing it down was the difference I needed.
By the time Nanowrimo rolled around I knew that I had an outline I was going to conquer. This year for Nanowrimo I made my goal less about reaching my 50,000 words and more about just finishing this work in progress.
And I did it!
Granted, I was far from done, but the largest hurdle was behind me. It took me a couple more months to get through my edits and get it out to my Beta Reader, but in the end the results were encouraging. I was back where I wanted to be and reinvigorated to write more. My Beta Reader even told me that I couldn't wait as long as I did to finish the next books (there was something about my health being at risk...but I think she was joking...I hope.)
Thank you all for your support through all of this, and don't forget to leave a review if you pick up a copy of my book!
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