It’s not flattering to admit this, but I feel it’s important to tell the truth in case you find yourself in a similar season. I’ve prayed a lot and talked to a lot of people, including pastors and a counselor. Of course all of the standard advice was given: prayer, diet and exercise, get enough sleep, journaling, meditation, and even medication were suggested. The journaling didn’t work for me because I’m a fiction writer, so every entry was much me complaining about nonsense until it was embarrassing, followed by “I hate you journal. You’re going to the dump one day.” I’m also resistant to medication because I feel it masks the symptoms. Well and fine, but they’ll just come back until the root cause is dealt with. I don’t ever want to feel the way I’ve felt these past six weeks again, so I want to pull that root up and burn it. I will see my doctor for my annual physical in September, but the counselor didn’t feel that medication was necessary, so I’m staying the course I’m on now.
I know, it’s not a straight progression. It’s up and down. My point is that I don’t ever want to be that down again. Ever.
One thing that helped me make big steps in improvement is turning my life over to Christ, and surrendering all to Him. I knew I isolated myself over the past fifteen months between COVID and Dad’s illness and passing, but I didn’t realize how much my faith had faltered until about a week ago when I went to an inspirational meeting with Rick and the speaker was talking about lessons from grief and tough life seasons. That realization and decision has done more to help turn things around and put me on a right track than anything else.
I’m still healing and trying to take it easy on myself. That in itself is a challenge, because I’m a perfectionist and as such, other people perceive that and they also push me hard. Allowing myself to slow down, cut back, and establish a new balance as I can handle it is a new and different thing for me. But the truth is that I’m going to have to find myself in this strange new reality a step at a time, until it’s not so strange anymore and I see a bit more clearly who I am now and how to make the best of it.
I am finding that track, though. I’m back to writing and working on Broken Time. I finally got my muse kick started and have a plan for the layout of the story, after a couple of months of aimless drafting and random writing. It’s coming together, so maybe I’m finally coming together, too. I pray I am. Writing really does help me to process things and to feel better, and fiction seems to be the way to do it. I had debated whether this idea even had merit worth pursuing, but I’m confident that I will finish this rough draft now that I have a concept for the rest of the novel, and for what it means. I’ll just say this: it started as one thing, but it’s become something else. That’s ok. It’s how writing frequently goes.
You’ll also be happy to hear that The Great Courses recently released a lecture series titled “Effective Editing: How to Take Your Writing to the Next Level,” and I bought it as a birthday gift to myself. I’ve been sharply criticized for ineffective editing, so I hope this will help. Of course, I still rely on beta readers and proofreaders to give me that much needed “outside perspective” before I publish my books, but perhaps this course will help lighten their load a bit much by putting the “Grammar Nazis” to rest.
And in closing, the late days of summer have inspired me to run some KDP free days to stock up your Kindle for fall reading. The Tanger Falls Mystery will be free today (August 20) through Tuesday, August 24, and The Earthside Box Set will be free August 26 - 30. Swing by Amazon and set a reminder to take advantage of these free days if you don't already have these titles. That's 7 ebooks you can get for free in the next week!
So that is what’s been happening in my corner of the world lately, and why you haven’t heard much from me. Truthfully, I was frozen and only able to do the minimum. But I’m coming back into the light, and emerging into life a step at a time.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.