I was cleaning up earlier this week when another idea in the journaling realm hit me. I ran across Simple Abundance on my bookshelf, and remembered how I had a goal of writing a devotional on finding authenticity through real life experience. You may or may not know this, but when I started writing twenty years ago, I wrote non-fiction. It was great for learning the basics of writing and publication, but I soon learned that people don’t buy this stuff unless you have the appropriate “alphabet stew” of credentials behind your name. I had hoped to move into fiction eventually, so that failed endeavor pushed me in the direction I’m taking now: first with paranormal mysteries, and then to my final goal of science fiction. The only non-fiction I do now is for The Roost. I have a lifetime of experience living with companion parrots, and plenty of fun stories and advice about that!
Of course I reminisced about those days and how much has changed. That seems to be happening a lot these days. When I returned to the present I thought, why not give it a shot? COVID has certainly changed the world, and most people have probably had personal circumstances that have changed their lives along with it, much like I have. Even if I never publish it, it might be worth pursuing this goal because I have been overwhelmed of late, and writing seems to be the best way for me to process things. So on Monday, I created a file that I titled “Transitions” and began writing entries about my personal musings over life, change, grief, fear, anxiety, and adapting to things that you didn’t choose to have in life. I even created an Excel spreadsheet to track the entries, so I can see if I repeat myself on certain themes or issues.
By golly, it’s working. Straight out journaling in those fancy books has never worked (they always wind out at the dump), but doing these entries as a writer has exposed the root of my thoughts and feelings, and spawned ideas of how to cope and deal with life in “this strange, new season” in a more productive way that I’m happy with. I already feel better, and am taking more positive action in dealing with daily life, instead of merely reacting to everything. That feels better. It feels more like me. It feels like finally overcoming the grief and shock, and moving in the right direction.
I doubt I’ll publish Transitions, but that’s ok because it can serve as a personal record. Not everything has to be published. Most of my fiction journal pieces never see the light of day and that, too, is alright. It doesn’t have to be “out there” to be beneficial or helpful. All writers need a place for the less impressive work that helps to build them up for the things that are meant for publication.
As for my fiction, it’s at a “waiting point.” The muse is worn out between completing the rough draft of Broken Time and publishing Phantasm. Revenant (the third novella in The Sentience Series) is with the reviewer right now, and that process will take several weeks to complete, so I’m taking a brief break from the fiction for now. I tend to get antsy and cranky when I’m not writing. Perhaps this Transitions devotional/journal is the answer to keep me balanced, and to help me learn what I need and find patience in dealing with life and recovery these days.
If traditional suggestions don’t work for you, try putting your own spin on things. The fancy pens and journals don’t work for me, but reframing it in a new way (or rather, the old ways I started out with) seemed to be just the thing to put me right on track.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow, and a wonderful weekend.