Day/Time: Friday, 3:03 a.m.
Current state of mind: Nostalgic & introspective
What are you wearing? Flannel pajama pants and my hubby’s sweatshirt
What are you listening to? Karma by Taylor Swift
What are you drinking? Boozy hot chocolate
Where are you? My office
It’s a frigid night. The wind is howling, the snow is blowing, and I’m sitting here marveling at Mother Nature’s magnificent fury. It’s been years since we’ve had a white Christmas—years since we’ve had a major snowstorm over the holidays. The year has been awful and this so-called blizzard—bomb cyclone—or whatever we’re calling it seems to be a fitting end for a shitty year.
2022 sucked. There’s no sugarcoating it—no denying the fact that this past year was a shitshow from the start. It presented many challenges, many unpleasant surprises that sent me spiraling through a whirlwind filled with anxiety and unease. I found myself in a constant state of worry. Insomnia ruled my nights, exhaustion my days. Coffee was my fuel. Books and writing were my escape. But it’s hard to escape reality when it’s constantly getting in your face—rearing its ugly head at the most inopportune times.
I was missing deadlines, delaying blogs, and falling behind on revisions and rewrites. My inner control-freak screamed. The perfectionist in me raged as my creativity suffered, stifling under heavy clouds of doom and gloom. But there wasn’t much I could do. The events were beyond my control and the timing of them couldn’t be worse. But I wasn’t about to succumb to this epic shit storm that had rolled into my life. I’ve never been a quitter. And I wasn’t about to start now.
I’m not going to lie, I struggled. It was hard to find the motivation to sit down and write. It wasn’t easy immersing myself in my fictional world as the real one burned around me. My focus was fractured, distractions hitting me from all angles. Sometimes, it took hours just to get one paragraph typed or revised. I found myself battling not only a blank page but also my own mind. Anxiety’s been a bitch. It seemed almost impossible to get anything done when I felt like I was drowning is a sea of relentless fear and worry.
But somehow, I persevered.
I mainly focused on Nick and Karina’s story this past year. After receiving feedback, I realized I had a giant plot hole that needed patching, along with one too many subplots. So, I overhauled their manuscript. I spent many long nights rewriting and revising their story. It killed me to delete some of those scenes. I’d worked so hard on them, but I knew it had to be done no matter how painful it was. Thankfully, I was able to work some of my favorite lines into this latest revision—which is almost done, BTW. As long as nothing else goes wrong, I should hit my deadline next month. Fingers crossed.
But Nick and Karina weren’t my sole project. I had many others: Raichel, Stavros, and a couple of other WIPs I’ve been secretly working on.
My biggest surprise was Stavros. I hadn’t planned on adding another WIP into the mix, but Stavros was a lot like Nick when I first met him. He just barged into my head one night, commanding my attention. I needed to know him. I needed to know his story. So, I got to work.
Unfortunately, Stavros hasn’t been the most cooperative of characters. He’s guarded. He’s cranky, and stubborn as all fuck. He drives me batshit crazy most days, but I can’t help but like him. He’s got this enigmatic vibe that just draws you in and makes you want to know more about him. It’s like peeling away the layers of an onion. Each time I work with him—each time I work on his WIP—I learn something new about him and grow to love him a little more. It’s been a slow process, but an organic one. He’s a complex character, but then many of my fictional people are.
Speaking of complicated fictional people, Raichel has been another one who’s given me a run for my sanity this past year. Out of my entire cast, she was the most difficult to work with. Trying to work with her was like trying to herd a horde of stray and starving cats. But I can’t say I’m surprised given the scenes I was revising. They were emotionally taxing not only for Raichel, but for me as well. Whenever I got done working on her WIP, I would have to take a break and decompress for a bit afterwards. Her story deals with some heavy subject matter.
Raichel goes through hell in her story. She’s got centuries of compounded trauma she buried and never dealt with—which gets unearthed—and sends her on a downward spiral. Raichel doesn’t like showing her vulnerabilities. She hates appearing weak—which is how she sees herself in some of those scenes—but that raw, emotional vulnerability makes her real and lifelike. You get to see another side of her that she never shows to anyone. She’s always wearing this mask—she’s got this public persona that she needs to put on display—and it’s exhausting. Not only for her, but for me as well.
Thankfully, Raichel’s WIP is finished, and I can just let it simmer on the back burner for a couple of months while I focus on wrapping Nick and Karina’s revisions. Those two are my priority and are going to remain my priority going into 2023.
So, what’s next? Next, I need to figure out how I want to go about publishing these WIPs. For the longest time, I’ve been dead set on going down the traditional publishing path. But given everything that’s happened within the industry this past year, I don’t want to put all my manuscripts into one proverbial basket. So, after much thought and talking it through with my husband, I’ve decided that I want to go down the hybrid route. Meaning, I’d like to publish some works traditionally, and self-publish some others.
I’m also thinking about starting a newsletter on Substack, and I also have a serialized WIP that I think would be a good fit for Kindle Vella. I’m still trying to get a feel for both platforms, so nothing is set in stone—yet. But as always, stay tuned to the Announcements page for the latest news.
Writing Life blogs and character blogs will continue, but I’m only going to post one blog per month. So, it will either be a character blog or a writing life blog, but not both within the same month—unless I miraculously get some free time in 2023. But I’m not keeping my hopes up.
I want to thank my husband, my mom, my family, and friends for all their help this past year. You not only saved my sanity, but helped in more ways than I could’ve ever asked for. I am so grateful and lucky to have you all in my life. I would’ve never gotten this far without your support and encouragement. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Raichel’s blog has been posted and updated. I didn’t realize I originally posted her rough draft instead of the final draft. But I guess that’s what happens when anxiety meets a head cold. Sorry about the confusion.
The 2023 Winter Blog Schedule has been posted. Sorry it took so long, but it’s been hard to predict what the new year will look like that far in advance, especially since 2022 has been such a chaotic shitshow. The next Writing Life blog is planned for Friday, January 27th. The next character blog will be Nick’s, which is planned for Friday, February 24th. As always, life is unpredictable, and the dates are subject to change. Just keep an eye out on the Announcements page.
We are continuing to update our website. New mood boards, life bites, playlists, and profiles have been posted. We will continue adding more as the year goes on. So, stay tuned.
That is all I have for you today. I just want to thank you all for sticking by me on this wild and chaotic journey. I hope you all have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.
© Copyright 2022 Amelia Kayne | All Rights Reserved