It’s been a while, eh?
I wish I was coming here to be like, “Surprise! I finished two books and here they are!” But I’m not. I’m still working on the same two I was working on last time I was here, which is why I haven’t written about it. I’m discouraged with how long it’s taking to finish To Cherish. It’s not taking forever because I don’t have the story in me … it’s that I keep allowing myself to be pulled in multiple directions. Dinner, housework, the kids, the dishes, the occasional anxiety attack that fucks me up for literally days which turns into weeks of no writing because I’m not good at anything (that’s the anxiety talking, btw). To be perfectly honest, I’ve even considered deactivating my social media accounts.
So let me just get all of this out there now … I’m sorry for a million different things and I’m not going to list them all (obviously). I have guilt a mile long about how much I haven’t been writing over the last year and then when I do write I have guilt because I get exhausted and short-tempered with my kids. I won’t buy them McDonald’s or take out every day of the week and I won’t skip dinner with them to write because I value family meals. That shit is really important to me. If sitting down as a family every evening to share a meal means it’s going to take me longer to finish Tommy’s book, then that’s what happens. If watching Moana for the 119th time with my 15-month-old is what she needs me to do instead of writing, I’m going to sit in my living room belting out How Far I’ll Go and You’re Welcome and We Know The Way and you can’t stop me because Moana is my favorite movie these days. Yes, I’m aware I’m 35.
No one has asked me to defend the reasons the book isn’t done, that’s not what this is, but there’s always someone who says they’re waiting for it or can’t wait for it, which I *love* because that means someone still cares, but at the same time it’s depressing to be asked when it’s going to be done. The answer is always, “I don’t know,” or “It’ll be done when it’s done.” It was the same feeling and similar answers I would have and give when people would ask why the baby hadn’t been born yet … well, because it’s a baby, not a loaf of bread that comes out of the oven at a certain time. I keep giving myself writing deadlines, but other shit gets in the way and next thing you know I’m 42 weeks pregnant with a story THAT JUST WON’T WRITE ITSELF. It feels like I need to drop everything else in my life and lock myself in the basement and finish the damn thing when people say they neeeeeeed it. Well, yeah. I neeeeed it, too, because I have no idea what is written until it’s written. I also neeeeeed 12 hours of sleep a night, plus a maid, a nanny, and a personal assistant to help me with things around here.
I’m not going to feel bad for whining about this. That kind of a lie. I mean, yeah, I will feel bad, but I’m going to try really hard to not let myself wonder how hard y’all are judging me. *throws glitter*
On to the important things:
I did a thing last weekend that made me feel not so alone. More than a year ago I filled out an interest form for an author event in Lake George, NY (because it’s close to me) and I didn’t back out. I didn’t let me talk me out of going – I came pretty close several times, though, and I’m glad I didn’t succeed because I would have been really mad at me if I hadn’t gone to Romance on the Lake. I shared a table with the lovely Maria Vickers, I met wonderful people who gave fantastic hugs and made me feel at home. I collected swag, traded business cards, and shared stories about stories. I forced/coerced/begged my best friend to fly to New York from California to be my assistant for the day and she did and she made the process of leaving the hotel to go to the event less terrifying. I wish I could hug her every day. I sold exactly 1 (one) book. I didn’t cry or throw up! It was a successful day.
I’ve already filled out the interest form for next year’s event.
Despite all the crap that keeps getting in my way when I try to write, talking to some of the other authors last weekend renewed my vigor. My need to write feels like it’s rising up and stepping over the want that had crept in to replace it.
I don’t want to finish Tommy Stratford’s story; I need to. His voice is loud.