Happy Friday and happy December! Hell has officially frozen over. It’s eleven o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting here drinking my coffee and writing this blog. I’m not a morning person, especially on Sundays. Sundays are my days to sleep in, rest, and relax. Sundays are my days to read, binge Netflix—I’m currently re-watching The Witcher—and play The Sims. But instead of chilling in bed, I’m sitting in my office and writing this.
I had a completely different blog planned for this month. I outlined it, organized it, typed it, and polished it up, and then tossed it into the recycle bin. Welcome to my writer’s life. I swear this has been the theme of 2021.
I was originally going to talk about my 2022 goals, but the point of this blog is to give you an inside peek into my writing life. And I want to keep it real. The writer’s life isn’t what you see in pictures posted on social media. It’s not perfect. It’s not all cute pj’s, tea and coffee, and organized desks—at least not for me. My desk looks like it got hit by a tornado of notebooks and my monitor is covered in sticky notes, because I have the worst case of CRS (Can’t Remember Shit).
Anyway, 2021 was one big chaotic and bumpy shit show of a year. It wasn’t all terrible, but it took a while for me to find my writing groove. The pandemic changed me; it changed my way of thinking, writing, and working. For a while, I was stuck in this constant spin cycle of worry, negativity, and self-doubt. It was affecting not only my personal life, but my writing life as well.
I struggled to get words down onto the page. My good old tried-and-true methods of pushing through writer’s block weren’t as effective. I couldn’t write a coherent sentence to save my life. It was me against the blank page as that blinking cursor taunted me, bringing about my imposter syndrome. Then self-doubt would sneak in and kick my ass. Nothing got done, and I was left wallowing into my glass of wine. Blank page – 1, Amelia – 0.
Imposter syndrome had sunk its claws into me, refusing to release me from its grips. Many people didn’t know how stressed I was. I hid it well. Only my husband and closest friends knew something was up, but I was in denial about how crippling it was. I didn’t want to admit that I was struggling, because in my warped mind, it meant that I was failing and weak. It meant that I was broken. I’m not a big crier, but I cried. I completely broke down and I can’t tell you how good it felt to get that weight off. But despite the cathartic tears, imposter syndrome stuck around.
I suffered silently, harboring this so-called shameful secret on my own, and hiding my failure from the world. I put on a brave face and pretended I was fine while I was screaming inside. But my problems seemed minor when compared to what others were going through. People were literally dying. I didn’t want to trouble anyone, so I didn’t—until my husband got me to open up. And I’m glad he did.
The world had changed, and so had I. I wasn’t broken, I wasn’t weak, nor had I failed. I was exhausted, traumatized, and skating on the edge of burnout. I had taken on too much and was drowning myself—or trying to drown myself in work. I was avoiding reality and had piled too many projects onto my proverbial plate. I needed to step back, take a break, and regroup.
And that is exactly what I did. I took some much-needed and much-overdue time off in August. The month-long hiatus did wonders for my mental health. I spent time with my husband and dog. I read, watched some of my favorite shows, and played The Sims. I also wrote and worked on character blogs and short stories whenever the mood struck, but I didn’t force anything. I just went with the flow.
When September rolled around, I was ready to jump back into my fictional world with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. I took multiple breaks each day and rewarded myself at the end of each night. I celebrated my victories—no matter how small—and didn’t berate myself on the days where I didn’t get much done. I embraced my chaotic writing style and stopped comparing myself to others. I loosened the reins and let go of the past, focusing on the present and the future. It was my most productive month this past year.
And thankfully, I’ve been able to maintain that momentum. It’s not about working harder, but smarter. It’s about being flexible and not punishing myself when real world responsibilities take precedence. It’s about knowing when to punch the gas and push through, and knowing when to hit the brakes and pause.
It’s about surrounding myself with the right people and having a solid support system. I can’t begin to tell you all how lucky I am to have family and friends not only listen to my wild ass story ideas, but also hear me out when I need to vent. They give me honest advice and feedback. They help me when I’m struggling and cheer me on through the highs and the lows. They have been my voice of reason and have held me together when I was ready to fall apart. They’ve always had my back no matter what and I wouldn’t have made it this far without them. So, to all my family and friends, thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do.
In the new year, I want to share more of my personal writing journey. I’m a private person, so it’s not easy for me to open up and spill my thoughts to a bunch of random internet strangers. But I wanted to get back to the core of what this blog was supposed to be about. I wanted you all to know that my writing life is far from perfect. It’s chaotic, and messy, and a real struggle at times. But I love it. I love writing and telling stories and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
My Writing Life and Character blogs will continue in 2022. The first Writing Life blog of the new year will be posted on Friday, February 4, 2022. The next character blog will be Luke’s and will be posted on Friday, December 31. Holly’s character blog will be posted on Friday, January 21, 2022, and Nick’s will be posted on Friday, February 25, 2022. You can find the full winter blog schedule under the Announcements tab, which can be found under the Blog menu. The spring blog schedule will be posted in March.
Since my fictional people enjoy consuming my headspace, I’ll be doing more character takeover blogs in the future. I was so deep in revisions last month that I couldn’t even connect with my own voice, so I used Nick and Karina’s voices instead. And it worked out perfectly, IMO.
I will post new playlists and aesthetics in the new year, so keep your eyes peeled for those. I also have a few other ideas and plans in the works for 2022, but I’m keeping those under wraps for now. Once I work out all the details and iron out the kinks, I’ll post an update in one of my blogs and on the Announcements page.
That’s all I have for you today. Thank you for sticking with me on this crazy-ass and wild publishing journey. I want to wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and new year.
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