Hello 2017. Goodbye 2016. (Can I get an amen?) I’m glad it’s over. Catch you later 2016. Adios.
You might have noticed (or maybe not because you have a life and - really – who cares what I do) but I’ve been kind of AWOL for a while. Well, most of 2016. I’m here to tell you why.
(First let me say, I usually don’t spill my guts on social media. It’s just not me. But since this is my website and damn it, I'll do what I want, I'm going to spill.)
It really started in 2015. I was writing around the clock. Seven days a week. Sometimes 15 hours a day. You might wonder if that was the case, why I wasn’t putting out book after book. The truth is, I’m just a slow writer. There I said it. I’m sloooow. I want every detail to be perfect, to be the things that readers feel, live, experience along with my characters. Maybe that's a bad thing. I don't know. And by the way, I'm not saying that authors who manage to put out book after book don’t put out great books. It's just how I do things. And that’s okay. I do what works best for me.
But back to 2015…all those long hours in front of a computer were starting to take its toll on me. I started suffering from insomnia, migraines, neck problems, backaches, my doctor said I had carpel tunnel. Not fun. But I wrote Promise Me Forever at a whirlwind speed and published it right after Christmas 2015. Some said it was my best book to date and I was elated about that. But after it was published, I hit a wall. Smacked right into that sucker. I spent the release week sick and weeks after the release sick. One illness after another. Not such a great way to spend Christmas or start the new year of 2016. Nope. So for the first time in three years, I told myself it was time t0 take a break.
But that bothered me, this break thing. Who did that? I was writing and people were loving my stuff. They were asking for more! I had hit all the big lists and was successful at my dream. I was crazy for taking a break! But I needed it. Big time.
So I spent time with my kids. I read, oh my gosh, how I read. I gobbled up books faster than my Kindle could download them. For years, I had focused on my own writing but I missed that quiet time between the pages of someone else’s books. I yearned for it with all my heart and gave into what I needed.
I’m also a big crafter; something most people don’t know about me. I love to sew and cross stitch and find things on Pinterest I’ll never be able to copy perfectly. So I returned to that, picking up stuff that was stuffed back in my closet. There is just something about working with your hands that calms the soul. At least, it does for me.
I enjoyed life again and didn't freak out if I didn't get my word count in for the day. What once was an enjoyment became a job. I had to write faster and faster and faster. I was giving myself headaches stressing so much then.
The break was supposed to be for two months but things just kept on happening. My daughter was sick again and again. Pneumonia, not once but twice. Partly collapsed lungs. I lived at the doctor with her. Then I lost my grandmother. She was my best friend, my biggest cheerleader. The woman meant everything to me. That was hard. Still is. My husband ended up in ICU with pulmonary embolisms. Something that happened out of the blue. It’s a miracle he’s alive today. And other things happened. Things that were hard to deal with and made me really look at things. I had to learn the hard way that sometimes people can just be mean and terrible and I had to take a deep breath and move on.
2016 just seemed like it was shaping up to be the year of terribles. Between sicknesses and losing someone close to me and the physical problems along with some other things, I just needed to refocus and take a step back. I did write. I promise. I’m too much of a pushover to just ignore the characters that live in my head. I started a story on Wattpad just out of the blue. I knew about the site and had been pushed by a few industry people to write on it. So My Dirty Little Secret was born.
Now we’re in 2017 and I’m ready to start fresh. Books are coming. More writing will be done. In the past, I only posted book-related stuff here on my website but I thought what the hell. I’m going to change things up. Get more personal because why not? If people don’t like it, they can move on (but I hope you like it and stay).
Maybe you’re asking why any of this matters. Why I decided to let you know what’s been up with me. I mean, I’m not that important. I’m just a girl who writes some books. But I wanted to tell you, a) so you know I didn’t fall off the planet and that yes, I’m still writing, but more importantly, b) that we all need a break sometimes and it’s okay. It really is. Life doesn't end if you don't check in once a day on Facebook or Instagram. They will still be there, I promise. So just take a breath. Find some quiet time. When life gets too demanding or anxious or just too much to handle and our bodies say enough is enough, return to the basics. Read a good book. Spend time with close family. Find some quiet. Remember what’s important. Just be. If I can do it, so can you.