Once again, it’s been a while.
I’m working on a new project now. A short story collection. I won’t say too much about it here, but I would like to say a little about what the process of working on it has given back to me.
I spent a very long time working on the novel I wrote prior to what I’m writing now. Years of developing the characters, the story, and improving my skill as a writer led to the completion of a project I was very proud of. But I made a big mistake: I hung all of my hopes on that one book. I went on submission with it for quite some time, but no dice. I actually have a pretty good understanding of why my novel hasn’t been picked up, and I don’t have any negative feelings about it. However, when you pour so much of yourself into something that doesn’t go as far as you had initially hoped, it can make you a little gun-shy when it comes to starting something new. I finished the book in August 2017. I did of course go back through it to make edits and small revisions before submitting it as part of my doctoral thesis in October 2018. But after that, I wasn’t able to finish another story for quite some time. It took until March 2020 for me to begin a new story that I would actually complete.
Creating anything takes a lot out of you. But it takes even more to put that thing you created in front of new sets of eyes and wait for someone to give it the green light. If anyone reading this right now is going through that process right now, don’t be discouraged. This is all part of it. And it’s OK to take some time between projects to re-evaluate where you are. You’re allowed to REST before starting something new. It took a long time for me to stop feeling guilty about not yet feeling up to following through on a new story. In fact, I often feel guilty anytime I’m in transition. I always feel like I should be farther along my path to success, and I forget to be grateful for what I already have. I forget to be happy that I’m back with people I’ve missed and love very much. I forget to appreciate the unique opportunity I’ve been given to grow and change in a loving environment. Not everyone has those things.
But now that I’ve spent some time working through some of my more anxiety-producing thoughts and feelings, I’m in a much better headspace. I am now quite near the end of something new that excites me and feels good to work on. I’m back to enjoying the process again, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Not only that, but I am glad to have that first submission period under my belt. Now I’m a little wiser and even better prepared to dive back in when the time comes.
I just wanted to come back here and tell you that, in case these are words you needed to read.
Have a great weekend, you creator of things.