Confessions and Exciting News...
I’ve been away for awhile.
“I got a new part-time job, I have three kids that need to be in three different places all over the city, my husband works all the damn time, I’ve had surgery twice in the last 8 months, and I generally feel overwhelmed about any activities outside of this week. I’m exhausted and just treading water.”
This was my script. I said it without thinking.
A month ago, I heard myself saying, “Well, I used to write. But things and life started getting in my way”. This was after a woman had told me she just realized I was the voice behind the blog she loved reading, and asked when I would post again. This wasn’t the first time this had happened lately. After meeting more people in our new city, I felt oddly disjointed from the old me- the writer, and more anonymous new-me, the no-one-needs-to-know writer.
That is, until three different women, this being the third, that knew me as a writer and blogger first, crossed my path and urged me to circle back. Heck one of them even said, “You’re basically famous”. Which, my inner Beyonce adored.
So a few weeks ago, after scrutinizing my life at my standard self-reflection time of 4:26 am, I started to feel sad, then angry at myself for letting go of the one thing that has always made me happy. Writing. I was pissed at myself for downplaying who I was as simply someone who ‘used’ to be a writer.
I percolated on these feelings and tried to put them together. Sometimes at 2am, sometimes at 11am, sometimes in the middle of a conversation about something entirely different. My mind was wandering, and I still couldn’t get my thoughts together. Occasionally over the last year and a half I would try to open my laptop and write and would end up buying stuff I didn’t need on Amazon (but wanted. Like the Anne of Green Gables DVD set which is EVERYTHING), or mindlessly scrolling Facebook instead.
I felt like I lost my ability to put words together, for both myself and for other people who used to flood my inbox with “ME TOOOOs”. I was watching the insanity of the world unfold- good and bad; Trump, The Women’s March, the rise of Nazism (or should I say the seemingly passive acceptance of Nazism), the death of police officers, the #metoo movement, and I couldn’t find my voice.
It felt oddly sedating. Not having an opinion right now. I was too busy. I mean, not too busy to know that there was inherent privilege in my nonchalant “I’m too busy”.
I didn’t stop reading or talking to my friends and family at lively dinners, but I just never felt the urge to sit down and write about it. I figured no one wanted to hear what I had to say anyways. Until lately, when the universe has conspired to have me meet person after person that seemed to gently nudge me back onto my path. Because if you know me, gentle is the only way to nudge me. A firm nudge would have been met with a punch and a fiery outburst. (Side note: My husband called me fiery the other day. I shall now use ‘fiery’ to refer to my personality since it sounds better than ‘bull-headed and emotional’.)
But as subtly as the urge to write left, I found myself 'writing in my head' subconsciously at 2am after having a long day with a tween boy. I needed to write about what had happened. But this post wouldn’t necessarily be a public post, in fact because my kids are starting to get older, some struggles and some moments I just wouldn’t talk about in specifics. Not because of anything nefarious, mostly just everyday kid crap, but now I was starting to encroach on their territory, onto their story which wasn’t necessarily mine to tell. That’s when I sat down and wrote a few quick words for myself.
And it was freeing.
That’s when the cloud started lifting. And the pressure I’d built around writing lessened just a bit. It seemed like as a monetized my penchant for words, the harder it got to get myself to open my laptop. The more contracts I tried for, the more ads I added, the more I didn’t want to blog. The money for writing is peanuts, so why was I letting something so little control something I loved so much? Everything I wrote didn’t need to be for a blog, or for money. I could just write for myself again, and see where it took me. I dabbled in some fiction (and had a few friends read it. .. they want more, I’m not sure it’s my thing quite yet..)
Then as serendipitous as the time there was a taco truck outside the bar I stumbled out of, I read a post online, messaged the poster and ended up on the phone a few hours later. It felt like as soon as I was ready, the universe conspired to put me in touch with a partner for a collaboration I had been seriously thinking about.
But first we both needed to wrap up some singular projects. For the first time in a long time, I had the urge to finally get back to the beginning, and have a second look at the manuscript sitting on my laptop.
Literary agents aren’t for the weak of heart. And, friends, my heart was weak. They wanted edits and changes and work to be done that I assured myself I just didn’t’ have time to do. I worked with an amazing author who gave me edits and great direction, but I couldn't put my finger on what I needed to do next… and then…
I. Just. Quit.
I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth. And above all, my blog followers know I’m committed to telling the truth.
The bitter truth is that I got scared of rejection, my pride overtook the work it would take, and I fell into a depressed place and I convinced myself I couldn’t hack it as a writer.
And I wallowed. I am an expert wallow-er, by the way. EPIC even.
I gained weight, I got angry, and I took my toys and went home.
But above all things.. ALL things, I am not a quitter. And it took me a second (er.. months…), but I circled the wagons, got in touch with a few amazing people, and I’m back in action. (I also lost the weight, feel happier, and brought my toys back to the party, but that is neither here nor there.)
Ladies and the few gentlemen that follow this blog, I’m back.
Before I embark on what surely will be an amazing adventure on the collaboration, I’m putting together an anthology of my own work to publish. It will be ready early 2018. I have an editor, and this time around I won’t let ME get ME. (I’ve been into P!nk a LOT lately. She is my spirit animal. Except when she’s hanging off the side of a building. NOPE!!)
Of course details will be on the blog and my website, but you can look forward to some old favorites, some news ones, but above all- a writer with her big girls pants on.
Thanks for the love and support you don’t even know you’ve given me.
Now for the final truth bomb. Do NOT believe my pajamas. I did not wake up like this. Instead I ate pizza with some of my best girls in a hotel bed like this...