Wow. Hi everyone! It's been so long, it feels kind of crazy to be back. It feels even crazier to like being back, if that makes sense. (It does. Honest.)
See, there was a time a couple of months ago where I actually thought about shutting this blog down. Life had gotten too much, writing wasn't happening, and I felt like a total phony blogging about writing when I wasn't actually writing. It's like the cliche of those people who wander around wearing tweed jackets with patched elbows moaning about their writers' block; we all know they're not really writers.
And for quite a while, I didn't really feel like one.
So. What's changed? To be honest, nothing much - except my perspective. Last year was full of crazy; new job, new house, new addition to the family (the four-footed variety), new having-to-deal-with-long-term-illness (not serious, but annoying). Lots of new, lots of crazy. And in the midst of all that, writing became just one more thing I had to do, one more thing that had to be checked off a very long and exhausting list.
Long-time reader will know that I've been keeping monthly writing statistics for a while now. For ages, this really worked for me. I could count off the days by the words, and see that I was making progress, and prove to myself that I could write as much in a year as a pro author could.
But last year, I fell prey to the numbers. I had a few months in a row that were very nearly my lowest months ever, well below half what I usually expect as my minimum. The numbers started going down, and so did my writerly self esteem. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this, I'd think. Maybe I'm just a hobby writer. Maybe I'm not tough enough to be pro; maybe I'm just not supposed to do it all.
Throughout all this, I was getting some excellent advice from friends and you guys, my awesome readers. The one thing that remained consistent about all the advice was that I needed to take a break, have some fun - only I kept protesting to everyone, I AM taking a break! What do you think three months straight below HALF my minimum is if it isn't a break?!
Yeah. It was me protesting and complaining and beating myself up about having a break, which, as any of you who have done this will know, isn't really a break. So in December, I had a real break. I still wrote when I felt like it, but I did something really, really scary. I put away the spreadsheet.
Yes, it's true. I have NO IDEA how much I wrote in December. I have no record of what I worked on, or even when I worked, or how much. So! Terrifying!! In years to come my descendants will have no way to see that on the ninety-second of Thentember I wrote sixty-two words on "The Most Brilliant Story"! *swoon*
But (of course), it worked. I feel less stressed about the whole writing thing than I have in a long time, and although I'm still not talking to myself about going pro (even though I'm secretly plotting it where my head can't hear me O:) :D), I'm enjoying writing. And for the first time in a long time, I have The Itch.
It's a great feeling. And to celebrate, I'm going to dig out the edits I've been avoiding for the last three months and kick some draft.
How are YOU going to start your new year? :D