Thursday, January 9, 2020

New Year, Same Old Thang - NOT


What is one of the most common questions people ask when a new year rolls around?

Can you believe it's the beginning of another year? Where did last year go?

This can churn all sorts of emotions: joy, excitement, growth from reflection, and sometimes angst in the gut - especially for writers. All those goals you set the previous January are now starring you down, boring a hole through your confidence and asking you why some didn't get accomplished. And the ones that did don't seem as important now as when you reached them.

That is just wrong, right? #lifeangst

Is it that you'll never be satisfied with achieving a goal? Or that the goal was a mere stepping stone to the next goal, which makes the first goal seem . . . yeah, fair-weathered? Or could it be setting goals at the beginning of the year, which gives these particular goals so much value? I mean, you set and reach goals everyday. You decided the groceries need to be done and you go do them. You have to drive kid#2 to practice, so you make that happen, too.

Yeah, little decisions are setting little goals that lead to something more complete.

Think of your writing life like that.

This month's IWSG question: January 8 question - What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?


The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

Wishing you many blessings and growth throughout this new year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IWSG ~ Recapturing Your Love of Writing After Major Life Changes

This year has been a dud, at least for me and my family. I don't like stating that out loud, let alone writing it the way I just did. But, as my husband often says, "Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade."

I've despised the way I've felt about writing throughout this year, but even-more-so about my lack-luster approach to all of you - my cyber friends. Some of you have been blogging with me for over ten years now. 

Wow. That's kind of cool. And special. And worth doing this living (and blogging) thing together. I'm sorry I haven't been a loyal commenter on your posts this year. I've missed you so, so much. Some of you have published stories and books. Others of you have had babies or shared how your young ones have grown. I haven't missed it. I've been reading lots of your posts, but the grief my family has gone through this year zapped my desire to comment and connect. 

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More honestly, I've come to realize that grief is a thief, and as it steals your very essence and pieces of your soul it leaves crumbs of fear and uncertainty it its wake for you to choke on. At times this year I've felt as though I were dying. Smack! Out of the blue grief would attack, and a little more of me would disappear.

Grief has changed every one of my family members and each in different ways. It's been a struggle to just do the essentials like getting up in the morning, cleaning the house, working at our family business because - as we all know - writing doesn't pay a lot of bills. 

And I'm angry that grief has taken so much from us. That it's isolated my family members into our own private living quarters where we all simply exist - my husband losses himself in our family business, our youngest escapes into his video games, and our three oldest kids just don't call as often.

Grief is a master at dividing and conquering.

I'm angry that it has taken the focus off the ones we've lost to death this year and all the good they brought to our lives for so many years. Mostly, I'm angry that I've given grief permission to do all that . . . yet again.

You see, I grew up in a huge family. We had aunts and uncles coming out of our ears from all sides of the family. I have fond memories of family gathers (on both my mom and dad's side). But once I entered middle school all that changed. Death began to visit our family and with it, grief. I remember when the first aunt died. She was actually my grandmother, my best friend in the whole world.

She was there. And then she wasn't. But I believed in Heaven and that she'd always be with me, so I carried on. And in my own little mind I think I did it specifically for her. Then we lost another aunt, an uncle, and another until we'd lost eight family members in two years time. It was only as an adult that I realized that I'd turned myself off somewhere in between all that death and grief. Don't get me wrong, I could smile and laugh with the best of them. But the smiles and laughter didn't sink below the surface anymore. That is the first time I gave grief rule over my life. 

This has been the third. (There is a second time, but that's for another post.)

Remember when you first felt that stirring in your chest to write something down on paper? You could smell the flint as your heart stroked it across your brain, igniting a feeling, an idea, a story. Grabbing the closest writing utensil you could find, you jotted down your thoughts until your fingers ached. 

I recently felt that again. 

The grief that's imprisoned my love of story and creating gave way every so slightly, and let a little light speckle in. Suddenly, I began to write a new story idea. This gave me courage to promise myself that I'd finish the edits to the second book in my middle grade series by the end of this year. It's time to work on this new story, to make grief earn its keep and inspire me to spill all the feels on the page about a boy in search of his recently departed grandfather and what death really means. It's an old ache - a middle grade personal one for me - I've let churn for much too long, and I invite you to join me on this journey. I look forward to blogging more, reconnecting, and celebrating all of you. 

Thank you for always being you. ❤️ Wishing you a safe, joyous, and blessed holiday season. See you in 2020!


I never intended to write this post, but when it began coming out I knew I had to let it. Thank you for listening.

Major 'Thank you' goes out to the awesome December IWSG co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Tyrean Martinson! You all rock it in a major way!


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