Hello! It's been a while, hasn't it? An entire holiday season and the ringing in of a new year has come and gone--and I'm still right where I was when I last posted. Well, that's mostly true. I've gotten a haircut (nothing drastic), rearranged some furniture around the house, joined a small group at our church, enjoyed various family time (see photo above with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece, and husband), and acquired a new freelance gig (hi, Barnes & Noble Kids Blog!).
But, for much of 2019, life continues in pretty much the same rhythm--writing my manuscript, imagining new worlds, managing anxiety, and relying on God's faithfulness one day at a time.
Let's start with that list.
Writing my manuscript: last time we spoke, I was deep into second draft rewrites of my YA dystopian novel. I had lofty goals of finishing a second draft by the end of January. And while I was well into ACT II (lord, help me), I was struggling. Fighting against something I couldn't quite understand. Finally, I broke my rule (do not speak to anyone about the manuscript until draft is finished.). I needed input on this new world I'd created. A new world that differs from anything I've ever created. Writing a dystopian has been HARD. You cannot create a new magical element if something doesn't make sense. You cannot rely on spells or mysteries or lore or magic. You must create something REAL. FROM something real. Government is real. Law is real. Econ is real. And those things cannot be altered. They can be shifted, into a future that I've imagined. But--they must remain true. My brain understands the magical world. Thankfully, my husband's brain understands the real world. After I explained to him what I had created, he very kindly revealed to me that things don't make sense. And if my world wasn't stable, my story could never be stable.
So? It was back to the drawing board. I was discouraged and couldn't write for a week. Thinking I was still missing foundational elements of my story scared me. (Will I ever NOT be stuck?) Yet, I knew the core of the story would remain the same. I knew I still wanted to tell my heroine's story. The backdrop just needed reinforcing.
And that's where I am today. Reworking and rebuilding my world so my heroine has something to truly fight for. It's terrifying and exciting. But I'm ready to create something powerful and worth telling.
Imaging new worlds: of course a writer's brain never stops. A new story has entered my mind--a middle-grade novel, yet again. With themes of grief and passing and new life. I won't say much, since so much of it is unwritten and underdeveloped, but it feels right and close to my heart. More on that to come.
Managing anxiety: this can feel like a full time job, no? In 2018, I went off of my anxiety medication for specific reasons I won't go into yet. But God called me to it, so I obeyed (kicking and screaming). It's been a rough year with pockets of relief. I'm still off the medication, so 2019 has had a rough beginning.
Which leads me to relying on God's faithfulness. Some days I can barely do anything other than puzzle (it keeps the anxiety at bay), cry, and eat toast. Other days I can do all the things--write, run errands, clean the house, you name it. Thankfully, 2018 eventually had more good days than bad. But I'm trying to remember, especially during the bad days, that God. Shows. Up. I may be a mess and hungry for relief from OCD, but I'm not alone. And that makes all the difference.
What's been going on with you? I'd love to know a fun fact about your 2018 or a new experience you're excited for in 2019! Once again, thanks for reading--you're the BEST.