Tuesday, January 4, 2022

A New Year and New Beginnings - A Personal Update

Today is the first day I have opened my computer for three weeks. Ouch. It hurts to say that. (I wonder if it misses me as much as I miss it?) I usually write everyday so time away from feeling the keys under my fingers is hard. I might only be able to get five hundred words written because I'm having a bad writing day or I might get 2,000+ words wrote but I write. Every day.

Except sometimes life just says, "Nope. Not today, you aren't."

Life did that to me recently and that's why it's been three weeks since my lonely keyboard saw me. After two years of being super careful of getting Covid, my husband and I took my youngest  to Universal Studios in Florida. She's obsessed with Harry Potter and since we had planned a trip to visit Hogwarts in the summer of 2020 (that didn't happen because of...well, you know), we decided that infection numbers weren't that high and we would go. As usual, I had big plans to write while we were in the hotel room in the evenings.

It didn't happen.

I realized that walking five miles a day after staying at home so much for 2020 and most of 2021 was exhausting. Very exhausting. So my evenings in the hotel were spent trying to recuperate.

Okay. No big deal. I would just ramp up my writing when I got home.

But it didn't happen.

Instead, Covid did.

I came home with it. Me-the vaccinated, wash hands constantly, and wear a mask me. I was sick. Very sick. Don't ask me how my Christmas went because I can't remember. I was too sick. So there goes my writing. I was too ill to open a computer, let alone try to be creative.

Now almost two weeks later, I'm finally starting to feel better. My computer's open and my fingers are flying. It's a new year.

New beginnings.

New goals for myself.

I thought I would share them here, in front of everyone, because one of my goals for this next year is to put myself out there more. It's not that I'm a really private person. I'm not. If someone emails me or sends me a direct messages, I answer it like we're best friends and have known each other forever. I probably write back with too long of a reply (especially if they are asking about writing). But I don't normally put myself out there generally speaking, especially on social media. Because I think, "What's so interesting about my life? I write, play chauffeur for my youngest child, read, and do laundry." Whoopie. I also have this annoying fear of being judged. What if someone thinks what I posted is stupid? What if they roll their eyes as they read my post? What if they won't read my books because they think I ramble and that I'm boring and my personal stuff is obnoxious?

It's an issue I've worked my whole life to overcome and I'm getting better at it (at least, I like to think so). But everyday I struggle with that fear/overthinking monster. It sits on my shoulder, poking me when I'm writing or when I'm considering posting something here on my website or on social media. It snickers at me when I come up with an idea. It laughs at me when I least expect it. Sometimes I can ignore the little pest and other times, it gets me around the throat and doesn't let go, strangling me until I give in. It's probably what slows me down with writing - the fear, the uncertainty that anyone will like my future books. I know I'm not the only author that struggles with this. It consumes many of us and is a daily fight. 

But it's a new year and I want to flick that little monster to the curb. Stand up to it and give it the middle finger.

So one of my goals for the new year is to write on my blog more and take control of that ugly beast. Not only do I love writing about anything and everything but I also love to read what my favorite author is up to. Did she cook a new recipe or what she did over the weekend? What is her daily routine or her deep and dark feelings about writing? So I figure if I love reading about another author's life, why shouldn't I share my thoughts and life updates too? Why does that little monster snicker at me because I want to share? Because I want to talk about playlists and inspirations and aggravations? Because I want to be real and open? So my goal this year is to tell that beast to go to hell and write about everything I want to write about without fear of rejection or whatever the little monster wants to call it.

Another goal for me this year is to finish the series I'm working on. I'm absolutely obsessed with this dark, new world and have loved writing it. It's dirty. It's raw. It pulls no punches on how screwed up the main male character is. I've pushed my boundaries on this one and it is many years in the making.

The truth is, I've had a hard few years that really kicked my ass and I haven't published anything in a while. Believe me, I beat myself up about it every single day. But I continue to write and this series is the one I've poured so much into.

Many people have asked the name of the series but I've changed the title so many times that I hate to share until it's set in stone so I'm going to stay quiet for now. The series currently sits at almost 400,000 words (and it's not complete yet). A typical full-sized book from me is usually around 120,000 words. So yes, it's been a while since I published, but when the series is finished, it will be split up into numerous books and released all at once. Yay! So I hope I will be forgiven for the long wait for a new book. ;)

Other goals for the new year include working on some other books that are currently in progress that I'm also so excited to continue to work on. These stories have lived in my mind for so long and their stories mean so much to me. The characters are like old friends waiting for their turn and I would love to get some of them published this year too.

On a more personal note, I moved, if you didn't know. In 2020, during the pandemic, we packed up the house we had lived in for 18 years and moved across the country. It was rough and I had a hard time adjusting. My motivation suffered. My writing waned. Then we did it again in 2021, packing and moving across the country. It wasn't easier the second time around but this time, we're happier in our new state and have no plans to move again.

Honestly, the last few years have been hard. My publishing plans suffered. I'm thankful every day for all the readers who continue to stick beside me, continue to tell me how much they love my books, and wait patiently while I write what I hope will be their next great obsession.

Here's to a great 2022 for all of us and thank you again for reading my books!