Where my head is at these days

Do you ever feel like a character in one of your own stories?

Ilene never regretted marrying young, choosing family over further formal education, and writing over a “real” job—until 2012 when colossal world ending shifts in the earth’s tectonic plates forces her to consider the path she chose. If she could do it all over again, would she change a thing?

Okay . . . my life is not exactly like Ilene’s or at all (hopefully!) like the theme of a certain year-titled film, but I have been doing some thinking on the choices I’ve made and will make in the future about my writing.

It’s not a case for panic—I go through these reassessment times fairly frequently, finding them invigorating and affirming (and sometimes a necessary correction: “Hey, you took a wrong turn back there, get back on the road.”) In fact, this current bout of reflection has me bouncing off walls and just feeling plain old excited about what’s ahead, because so far I’ve made almost all of my self-imposed goals.

I’ve been writing “seriously” for just over ten years. My non-fiction tends to sell when I submit it (if I keep it out there enough, anyway ;-). I’ve started to sell short stories. I have one standalone novel or (maybe) two ready for publication and a Book 1 ready to go, plus half of Book 2 of what I see being a three-book series.

By many writers’ measure, the above paragraph of accomplishments might seem scant, but to me it’s wonderful success: I have kept on keeping on. I have continued writing even when everyone around me (and a loud voice in my own head) says, “Why? Isn’t there something more worthwhile, more practical, more something you could do?”—And now my writing really is entrenched, accepted, and nary receives a condescending smile!

I don’t know what exactly is ahead in my writing life, but it feels like there is “something,” and I’m excited about it—or then again, maybe I do have a small notion, but I’m holding it back for a bit.

Thankfully the end-of-the-world shtick was just a plot device, but Ilene can’t be too angry. She’s relieved to embrace the life she’s leading and accepts that while she can’t know what the future holds, looking forward to good things rather than worrying about possible bad things is way more beneficial to every part of her life (and is way more fun!). She would not change a thing.

So that’s me, looking back at the past years of my writing life and looking ahead to possibility . . . What’s your writing head like these days?

6 thoughts on “Where my head is at these days

  1. Oh Ev, I’m just working on my WIP and hoping I’ll see it through to the end this time. I always hope for the best and try not to assume too much. I think by the sounds of things you’re doing great.

    Each step moves us forward. Sometimes that’s all it takes to keep us going.

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  2. Dear Laura,

    I’m sure you will see it through this time–and you’re so right: each step does move us forward. And really, writing is that simple. Just one line. Then one more. Then another . . . 🙂

    Happy writing this week to you!

    ~Ev

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  3. I can’t believe someone would consider your accomplishments scant. Continuing and creating so much while you’re also having the rest of your life is a tremendous achievement. Well done! And have I mentioned lately how much I want to read your series? 🙂

    Lately my writing head has been stuck solidly into one book, the one I’ve just finished writing. And now I have to try to get it stuck into the last one, the one I want to edit. Wish me luck!

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  4. I don’t know if someone would call them scant or not, but I’m not published in terms of having a novel or ten published, so I feel a bit weird talking of writing “accomplishments” . . . yet like you, I do feel like the writing itself _is_ the accomplishment, so hence my post and hence my disclaimer!

    And LOL and HOORAY re: you wanting to read the series. It’s always nice to _want_ to do something that wouldn’t be able to avoid anyway, heh heh.

    I do wish you luck getting your head into your edit, but I suspect you won’t need it–that you’ll read a chapter or two and be totally sucked in by your story.

    Happy writing and editing this month!

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  5. Oh – don’t ask that question of me right now!

    Arrrrgggghhhhh. I cannot focus. My mind and body are not allowing me to leave my space long enough to dive into my writing world. It is a place I do enjoy so much so this is hard for me, even though it is for the best of causes 🙂

    Just the other night, I found myself asking, should I be writing? Maybe I should begin focusing on some other things? I don’t question myself often, so when I do I try to listen to myself. I thought of a workshop I took 1.5 years ago, and how many other writers turned to me about their writing struggles, and how I received a couple of e-mails after the class telling me how much they learned from working with me. It might not seem like much, but it was enough to re-assure me. I think that whenever we question ourselves we need to remind ourselves of something like this…

    I wish you a wonderfully journey in your writing, Ev, and congratulations on your accomplishments!

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  6. Hah, Jennifer–sometimes I think the time when we least want to think about a question is exactly the time we must. 🙂 Of course you should be writing–and, unfortunately, of course sometimes you’ll wonder if you should. Your way of answering it, recalling those small moments of concrete affirmation, is very wise. I do that too. Treasure up small things that might not mean anything to anyone else, but to me are the reassuring clap on the back and the finger pointing to the sign that says “You’re on the right path.” Now if I could only feel as sure about the genres that I write . . .

    🙂 Ah, life and questions. Who knew those words were synonyms for each other?

    Have a lovely day,
    Ev

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