2018 is the first year I didn’t publish a new book.
It’s been a hard year. I had to make choices. Sometimes I made the wrong ones.
I invested a lot of time and money into things that didn’t turn out. Story lines that fizzled. Inspirational workshops that weren’t. Critique partners who never called.
As the year comes to a close my biggest accomplishment is my 100 days of writing, and the amazing manuscript it produced.
I love that story. There are dragons and wizards, a romance filled with tension and a maniacal ghost.
I’m also completely lost on how to polish it and market it for sale.
Editing takes more from me than drafting. Writing a new idea grips me with a passion that pulls me out of bed when I can barely keep my eyes open. It whispers in the back of my head when I should be concentrating on other things. Editing is just work. One word after another, cutting scenes I love. Editing makes me doubt what I can do. Writing makes me feel like I can do anything.
That story, the 100-days-dragon-story, was written in hospital rooms, on flights across the country, and on early mornings when I wanted to stay in bed. Editing feels harder.
This year I’ve taken ten flights, had four rounds of blood work and twenty-four medical injections (because there’s a hole in my head), house hunted in three states, put two offers in on two different homes, and walked away from both of them. I’ve struggled with a series of seemingly endless, hopeless, emergency situations at my day job. I moved. Again. (Move #11 was not kind.)
I did a lot of things that weren’t writing.
I gave up on quilting. I resigned my board position and practically abandoned my quilt guild. I dropped to weekly runs, and then skipped running for a few weeks. I tried essential oils to manage the stress and walked away from things to manage my time. I made mistakes.
But I also finished the dragon manuscript. Made some good connections at a writing conference. Met my nephew. Showed off Key West. Went to Disney World dressed like the Haunted Mansion Bride. Had tea in Las Vegas. Redefined what I want in life. Succeeded despite the odds.
I weathered the storm.
Which storm? All of them. At least, so far. Who knows what’s coming next?
Some days I feel broken. Some days I feel bliss. For 100 days, I wrote. I finished something amazing. The rest of the time I edited, struggled to put words on the page, and didn’t finish.
And that was 2018.
I wonder if it’s time to walk away, from writing, my life, or maybe my bad habits but I keep moving forward. Despite criticism and unkindness, knowing that moments of happiness are just as likely as moments of sadness. Keep moving forward, in 2019 and always.