For years now, probably since my first National Novel Writing go in 2005, I have wanted to be a fiction writer. My mom has said that there was always at least a part of me that wanted to write, even as a kid. I got beaten down a little by my stepfather about it. He was an English teacher and just didn’t think I was any good at it. I don’t really think I felt like my mom thought I was much good either. I could do academic papers just fine, but I completely abandoned the fiction side of things until 2005.
Once I got married, took a part-time job, and moved across the world, I decided I would commit to writing. I was going to be a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! I had way more free time than I’d ever had before so clearly now was THE TIME.
I’ve been here over a year and I have just about no writing to show for it. I got 20,000 words into a mystery book last National Novel Writing Month and then just stopped. I got almost 10,000 in this year and then somehow wrote another 7,000 or so on the plane to visit family for Thanksgiving. Then didn’t pursue it any further.
It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I do. They’re not terrible ones either. Definitely books I think should exist. But I cannot seem to push myself to do anything about them.
There have been big things going on in my life over the last year and some. I had a major back surgery (that I didn’t think was that major – have since learned my lesson on that one since when they fuse anything, especially in your back, it’s a big deal), had complications, got married, moved overseas, didn’t have many local friends, had more surgery to deal with the complications of the back fusion, dealt with depression and anxiety. It’s enough to make anyone take some time.
But even when I was doing relatively okay, I wasn’t writing. November rolled around and I was like, “AHA! NOW is the time to write!” as though other months are off-limits from writing. Then, when November started, it was too much pressure and I just couldn’t.
Some of the time I think I forgot about the idea of just writing for fun and focused on the wrong thing – becoming published and making money. That isn’t why I started writing in the first place anyway. I started writing because I wanted to write happy endings for the people I knew when their lives weren’t really taking them to happy places. But once it stopped being about that and started being about other things, it didn’t hold the same interest.
I started working as a life coach in October. I only have one client, but so far I think it’s been great for both of us. One of the things we discussed was making lists. Lists give you a great sense of accomplishment when you can check something off as being done or not needing to be done. Lists can also let you know what you really value in your life. f you have a task on there (WRITE BOOK) that just doesn’t seem to be getting done no matter how many days, weeks, or months it spends on your list, it may just be something that isn’t that important to you.
And that’s where I am with the fiction writing. Rather than continue trying and beating myself up when it doesn’t happen, I’m going to let it go. Perhaps in the future my interest will swell and the words will flow. I’m too tuckered out with everything else in my life to beat myself up over this.
It’s also not like I don’t write. I do. It’s just not fiction. This blog is a place I can always come to get sorted out. I enjoy it. I have ideas at night that keep me up and it seems like if I just get them down on virtual paper, that my mind can rest a bit more easily.
So for now I’m going to focus on getting thoughts down onto paper when I have them, even if they’re about real people and real things and they aren’t going to make me any money.