Um…hi. It’s been a while. Well, maybe a little more than “a while.” Seven months? Yeah. I’m sorry.
It’s probably easiest just to say that I needed a break from writing for a while, although I never intended for it to be this extensive. One busy, tired, distracted day just kept rolling into another and another, moving me a little bit farther downstream each time until I stopped to look around me and realized I didn’t know how I had put so much distance between me and my creativity.
Winters are difficult for me at the best of times, and it never seems to be the best of times anymore.
Spring has been cold, grim, and rainy – I just stopped using my heavy quilts last week, and I’m not putting them in the closet yet just to be safe.
I have a little bit surprised at how deeply the crushing despair of our political situation has affected me, since I have never before been a very political person, but the constant fear that my values, protections, and freedoms (not to mention the lives and safety of those less fortunate than I) could be obliterated at any moment has added greatly to the pervasive sense of gloom and doom.
It’s almost the middle of June already, and I feel like I haven’t really been able to get purchase on this year. My brain is always somewhere else; there’s always something happening that isn’t quite under control. I keep telling myself I will do everything tomorrow, next weekend, next month, after this event or that trip or those projects – later, when I have time to focus – but that time never seems to arrive.
This includes my writing, of course. And it doesn’t help that I am stuck in the middle of my least favorite part of the process. I have to write the climax scene of my last novel of The Paderborn Chronicles, which means bringing all my loose threads, plot bunnies, stray ideas, and wayward characters from the last three books together in a perfectly woven tapestry of heartbreak and triumph.
No big deal.
I know how it’s all going to end, which is actually part of the problem. In my mind, I’ve finished the story, so what’s the point in writing it down? I’ve mentally moved on, which absolutely does not help the two or three of you out there who might still be waiting to see how it all turns out.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t finish the series. I almost have. I will. It’s going to take me longer than the first three books, but I will do it. For many reasons, I have to do it – and I promise that to you.
After I do so, however, I’m going to have to have a good long think about what writing fiction means to me. My life has changed dramatically since I started this whole writing malarkey. My hopes for myself have changed. So have my expectations.
It’s not all bad, though. I am less focused on fiction because other good things have taken root. I write every day at my job, which I very much enjoy. I am starting to move into being competitive at archery, which is fun but incredibly challenging. I’m thinking about getting certified as a coach, which would let me get more involved with the youth program at my club.
I’m doing things, but they just aren’t the same things I used to. And while I would love to keep the thrill of getting lost in the art of storytelling as part of my life, I’m not sure how I’m going to do that right now.
So please bear with me through this lengthy existential crisis, if you can. I’m happy with the way Dark the Wayward Dawn is shaping up, even if the title is a little bit on the nose at the moment. I’ve started to have a new wave of ideas about how to finish it up well, which is encouraging.
I just need some time to come out of the fog and paddle back upstream. Once I can do that, it will be much easier to see where the rest of this journey will take me. I appreciate your patience in the meantime.