Day/Time: Friday, 1:27 a.m.
Current state of mind: Tired & pensive
What are you wearing? Flannel pajama pants & my hubby’s college sweatshirt
What are you listening to? Anti-Hero by Taylor Swift
What are you drinking? Mulled wine
Where are you? My office
It’s another late night and the world is silent once again. The sound of rain pattering against the windows eases my anxious mind, soothing me down to my very soul. I love the quiet. I live for the peaceful moments among the daily chaos. That’s when I thrive. That’s when I get the freedom to strip my soul bare and just be me.
There’s no judgment here. There’s no need to put on a show. There’s no need to entertain people with fake smiles and positive posts about how life is all rainbows and roses while the world burns around me. Here in the stillness of the night—in the privacy of my home, I’m free. I’m free to be me. I’m free to let my inner chaos reign. Let me tell you, it’s fucking liberating.
And that’s one of my goals for 2024—be more authentic. I want to stop with the fakey-fake bullshit. I’m tired of pretending I’m okay when I’m deep in the throes of grief. I’m tired of faking that I’m fine when I’m falling apart at the seams. I’m tired of pretending to be perfectly put-together, when in reality, I’m a disorganized hot mess who can’t remember where I put my fucking keys. I know chaos makes some people uncomfortable, but life isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. No one is. That’s reality. And toxic positivity is not healthy.
But breaking free from perfect is easier said than done. The need to be flawless has been engrained in me from an early age and it has snaked its way into all aspects of my life, including my writing. My inner perfectionist is a cruel bitch who shows up at the most inopportune times. She enjoys planting seeds of doubt deep within my mind, reminding me of my past failures.
Some days it feels impossible to break free of her. She’s always creeping about, ready to strike at any given moment. It’s why it takes me forever to do anything. If I’m going out, I’m always running late because my hair and makeup have to be absolutely flawless. Nothing can be out of place. Nothing. Same goes for my outfits. I go through dozens of wardrobe changes, trying to find the perfect outfit for the occasion—even if we’re just hitting up one of the local dive bars.
My writing life isn’t much different. I’ll write, edit, and revise, rinsing and repeating for hours on end striving for perfection. But I never find it. Because perfect doesn’t exist. I set the proverbial bar so ridiculously high that it became impossible to reach. And it was problematic.
I ended up doing more harm than good. I wasted hours, days, weeks perfecting sentences and paragraphs that didn’t need it. I was overediting and losing my narrative voice in the process. If my husband and alpha readers hadn’t intervened, I would’ve set myself back an entire year. So, I stepped away and switched gears.
Instead of focusing on polishing my manuscripts this last quarter, I decided to take it easy. I spent most of my time working on side shorts, character blogs, backstories, and just free writing whatever the fuck I felt like. And it felt amazing.
But part of me was wracked with guilt. I had goals and deadlines that I needed to hit. There was so much that I wanted to accomplish this past year, but just couldn’t. My mental and emotional health had taken a hit. I needed the break, needed to allow myself the freedom to be imperfect for a change. And I needed the time to heal.
As most of you know, my muse crossed over the rainbow bridge earlier this year. I knew his death was inevitable, but it broke me. My world crumbled, my heart shattered, and I haven’t been the same since. But that’s grief for you.
And I’m no stranger to loss. I’m all too familiar with death and all the anguish and heartbreak it brings. I’ve swum in the sea of sorrows plenty of times before. I’ve lost so many loved ones from an early age that I knew what to expect. But experience didn’t make it any easier, it didn’t make the loss of my pup any less painful. It never does.
Our house was empty. Quiet. I missed the sound of his barking and soft snores. I missed the jingle of his tag and the pitter-patter of his nails whenever he walked around our home. I missed the high-pitched squeaks of his toys that used to drive me up a wall—and suddenly I would give anything to hear him play once more. But most of all, I missed his warmth, the feel of his soft fur while he was curled up by my feet. I missed him more than words can describe. He took a piece of my heart when he passed. I was broken. Bereft. And I didn’t feel like doing much—not even writing.
Thankfully, we found our rescue puppy shortly after. He brought so much light and laughter back into our lives and continues to do so to this day. He eased my anguish and anxiety, helping me get writing again. But I can’t give my pup all the credit. My husband, mom, and close friends played a big role in giving me the strength and courage I needed to move forward.
And forward is the goal. I have a ton of catching up to do next year, and I’ll be spending a good chunk of 2024 doing just that. I have edits, revisions, and rewrites I need to tackle.
Naturally, Nick and Karina’s story takes priority. I’ll be focusing on them for the first quarter of the year, while juggling side shorts and character blogs. Then my goal is to finish rewriting my Magic and Medicine WIP (Stavros and Alaina’s story), and hopefully work on revising Raichel’s story at some point. I was supposed to have Stavros’s rewrite done by this weekend, but obviously that didn’t happen.
And I’m not going to kick my own ass over it. It’s been a rough year. I did the best I could. The fact that I persevered and wrote and published blogs speaks volumes about my resolve. I’ve never been a quitter. I’m a persistent little thing who refuses to give up on my dreams and I won’t stop until they come true.
I want to thank my husband, my mom, my family, and closest friends for all that you have done. I am beyond grateful for all your support, love, and encouragement. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.
Character and writing life blogs will continue as planned. They will remain free, but some of them might be gated for the 18+ crowd due to mature content.
The 2024 Winter Blog Schedule has been posted and updated. The next writing life blog will be posted on Friday, January 26th. Nick’s blog is scheduled for Friday, February 23rd and Karina’s blog will follow on Friday, March 1st. As always, the dates are subject to change, so keep your eye on the Announcements page for any schedule changes.
My author bio has finally been updated as promised. If you want to learn more about me, head on over to the About the Author page and give it a read.
We are going to continue updating this website throughout the new year. I will be updating all the character bios and posting new ones as well. I also plan on posting more mood boards, playlists, and life bites in the near future. So keep your eye out for those.
Exclusive content featuring outtakes, character interviews, backstories, and more will be coming later this year. Exclusive content will be gated and will require a subscription to access. Once I get everything set up, I’ll post it on the Announcements page.
That’s all I have for you today. I want to thank you all for sticking with me and continuing to support me on this crazy and chaotic rollercoaster ride. I hope you all have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.
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