I had a bad writing year last year. There is no way to justify it. I had tons of legitimate excuses. Many reasons I wasn’t getting in the words everyday I needed to get down, and yet at the beginning of this year I felt like a failure. I’m used to writing about three books a year, even with as many tangents and plot bunnies as I chase, I finish things.
Last year I could barely stay focused, and when I was writing, words wouldn’t flow on anything I needed to finish. Then the election hit and I didn’t write for two months. Two whole months of no words. I was depressed. I was scared. I was worried for my kids, my friends, and even for myself being a genderqueer person. I feel like I’m grieving a death. I was in denial, I thought maybe the electoral collage would vote against him. Next I was angry. I was angry at everyone I knew who voted for him and I was angry at people who didn’t vote. I yelled at a lot of people, and vented to my friends. I picked fights and even I didn’t like who I was becoming. But I was so mad I had a hard time controlling it.
Then I was depressed and disappointed in the country I live in. Disappointed in the people who were fooled by the orange con man. I barely went on social media. I couldn’t watch the news. I would get panic attacks about the things he was doing. I didn’t workout, and still I didn’t write. I knew I had to turn it around. I made lots of calls. I did things for the cause, because I knew I had to even if my senator was never going to listen to me. But I wasn’t doing anything for me. There was no self care. There was huddling in the dark with wine and audiobooks so I didn’t have to think.
I wish I could blame it all on politics, but as early as the summer I was making excuses for myself. My kids were home, I went on a trip every other week. I told myself it was good enough to just finish the things I had due. By the end of the summer and with Madly not finding the audience I hoped it would, I was burned out. The book market was changing and I couldn’t see the path forward to the career I wanted. I won’t get into reasons why, but I also pulled my older kid out of school, and I found myself homeschooling in October. It was another excuse I allowed myself. Then another underwhelming release, and my publisher closing, screwing me and so many others out of our hard earned money, helped sink the ship towards the end of last year. I hit a new low of no words. No ideas. No creativity. No motivation.
I couldn’t keep going on that way.
It was two weeks into the new year, and I knew this year had to be different. Too late for a resolution, but I made one none the less. I vowed to write. I had to go back to what I was. I had to find my words. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always put my emotions into my books as a kind of therapy to deal with life. My own words, and other people’s words had saved me, over and over. I wasn’t ready to let it go.
Slowly I’ve been coming back, finding my words and finding my love for writing again, showing my face on social media. I had a lot of highs last year, Clouded Hell was one of my best releases ever, but I also had a lot of stress. There has been so many changes in my life, it’s been hard to keep up. Going back to writing has been like coming out of a fog. I went from a bleak and sluggish mind to flowering. It wasn’t easy, those first few weeks were like pulling words out of a dead and barren ground. I had to find a way to replant my creativity. To force my mind away from the idleness it clung to.
In less than a month I’ve written fifty thousand words. Bound Five is two thirds done, and my young adult passion is getting a start. I might stumble this year, and I know the next four years are going to be dark, for some of us but we have to get through them. There is no other choice.