I couldn’t write when the pandemic started. I planned it, even carted my computer with me to our Spring Break trips.
But once the lockdown was in place I couldn’t: no sleep, constant worry. Especially since the week before I’d flown to Cleveland and back.
Once spring break was over I focused solely on the yearbook. It was awful to do the work from home, but looking back, I’m thankful I had the distraction.
I thought I’d get back to my steamy hockey romance after the book was done, but no. Instead I fought on Facebook with people who said masks were dumb and COVID wasn’t that bad.
Then the protests against police brutality started.
I watched the news for hours.
School was done, summer break started and I was stunned day after day by what I was seeing play out on screen.
I’d written some words. Not a lot, but my writers group met on Zoom pretty often so I had some. And I had the complete novel plotted.
And in the midst of the madness I decided I wanted to remember a different time, a different place. I wanted happily ever after.
I couldn’t get that on Facebook or twitter. I couldn’t get that watching police tear gas peaceful protestors. I couldn’t get that wishing for playoff season.
So I started writing.
And this morning at 2 a.m. I finished a crappy first draft.
My plan is to have it revised and ready to go by next beach season.
I actually plan to relaunch my writing career then. One women’s fiction a year and three steamy romances.
Wish me luck.
I passed out doubt demons in class today. I started class showing off mine. His name is Freddy.
I told the kids I write novels and love words and help edit others’ work, and still there are times I sit at the computer and hate everything about everything. I hate the way the words look, they way they feel when I say them, the scene they’re part of. I hate the commas and periods and pronouns. I hate it all. And if I let it, that feeling will consume me and the work and it’s so bad I just want to trash it all and start something shiny and new and fun. Something I can LOVE. But with my doubt demon around, I can pick him up, put him on my finger and say, “Not today, Freddy. Not today.”
After I told my story, I broke out the demons and invited the kids to choose their own. No one had to, but if they wanted one, they could take one, name it and have it out at their workstations while they work the rest of the year.
I thought I’d been pretty open about my writing, but as I told my story today my kids sat there listening and nodding their heads and even saying “Yes!” at times. They’re halfway through the year and they’ve faced all the doubt struggles that come with interviewing and writing and designing and photo stories. They know their work is going to be published and it lasts forever and the pressure is real. Some of them write creatively outside our class. They understand doubt. But until today I don’t think it ever really connected that I know doubt too.
I hope the doubt demons help us all banish the negativity and embrace the reality that the doubt is just part of the process.
*I ordered my doubt demons at Archie McPhee.
I’m thankful to Angelique L’Amour who introduced me to Doubt Demons at last year’s DFW Writers Conference. If you get a chance, definitely take her classes!
What I’m Loving: Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, LCHF, Finals!, Saginaw Night Writers, Quest nacho cheese flavored chips
What I’m Writing: So Much For Happily Ever After
Books I’ve Loved This Year: Atomic Habits, Dumplin’
Back in the day I’d log on to my blog and write about all the things. Writing, family, diet struggles, books I loved, God, TV, tales from the classroom and the politics of education. Every little thing.
The blog was my way to share little bits of life with friends.
Back in the day before Facebook and twitter and the constant bombardment of my News App.
I love the ease of the blog, the breathing space of the blog, the focus of the blog.
When I’m here I don’t worry about notifications or nuclear war. I just write. I just share.
Sometimes I write to make readers laugh. Other times I share to get through a moment. Often I post to ask advice.
I like that about the blog.
It’s my little place in the vast space of online infinity.
What I’m Loving: The Daily Calm, Dumplin‘, coffee, my giant down comforter, my Dallas Stars gloves, Cali’flour pizza crust
What I’m Writing: blog posts and So Much For Happily Ever After.
Creativity is contagious. My writers group meets at the local library Tuesday evenings. The meetings always inspire me.
It’s easy to not write, but when I go to the meetings I HAVE to write something, even if it’s not great. The more I go, the more I write. The more I write, the better I write…it’s a cycle.
There’s something about writing in community that refreshes my writing spirit.
I almost didn’t make tonight’s meeting since I came home from work with enough time to do a short workout and decided to try HIIT. I nearly died. It’s back to Zumba tomorrow!
What I’m loving: my current WIP, Night Writers, the Dallas Stars, Mixtiles (they are as good as the Facebook ad says!), Quest snickerdoodle cookies, LCHF
What I’m writing: So Much For Happily Ever After
“It’s hard to write this without killing someone or blowing something up.” Me while working on my current work in progress during my writers group tonight.
The group just left and I spent a few minutes “woe is me-ing” because I hated my words and loved theirs.
And then I sat in my chair and focused on breathing and reclaiming my comfort in my process. Okay, that’s a lie. I haven’t reclaimed the comfort. That’s why I’m here on the blog talking to myself. 😊
Simple truth: writing is messy. And sometimes I get lucky and I’m blessed by the writing gods and a scene just falls out of me fully developed with snappy dialogue and conflict and character development.
But MOST of the time the first words are flat placeholders for what will come next in revisions.
But they’re there on the page. Words. Words that weren’t there before. Words that give life to the story I will eventually tell.
I’m working on this. On embracing me. On being okay with who I am, in how I am, in why I am. No, not in being okay with it. I’m learning to love me.
It doesn’t matter if I’m talking about the words I write or the food I eat or the words I say or the clothes I wear or the weight I lose or, well, anything.
I’m me. And I’m doing just fine. ❤️
What I’m loving: one of the new characters who popped up in my story completely unexpected but perfect for it right now, DoTERRA On Guard mouthwash, HGTV, my writing group, Within Temptation’s new album
What I’m writing: So Much For Happily Ever After
Oh NaNo. I had such sweet hopes for our relationship this November. October had other ideas.
Here we are 8 days in to our NaNo fun and I’ve written zero NaNo words.
It’s okay though. October’s work is slowly moving toward conclusion.
Looking forward to you, NaNo.