Dear Readers –
A quick update, so you know what I’m working on, and then a fairly involved thank you. Update first: the second season of Saira has an excellent plot and some really cool twists and turns, and I am delighted that you will get to read it…at some point. At present, it is not coming out the way I intend it to, and I am puzzling out where it is going – which is a very nice way of saying I’m beating my subconscious with a bat, and then re-reading all of my favorite YA Fantasy series in the hopes that something will magically fall into place. Meanwhile, the Mahalia reboot is so very, very close to being entirely plotted (it’s a trilogy, y’all), and after straying into somewhat colder, more dystopian territory, I am back to sun-drenched gardens and a lot of laughter. It feels better, and I will be happy to start writing soon. Meanwhile. a new idea is coming into shape in my head, a SciFi story that is reaching deep inside and stirring up some very primal emotions. I wish I could tell you which order these would come out in.
I just realized that it’s Sunday night. Now, I’m sure that some of my dislocation in time is due to the fact that my husband is away on vacation, so there isn’t his work schedule to accommodate. However, the simple fact is that I’m not dreading tomorrow. To be honest with you, it’s been a difficult few weeks since I left my day job. I’ve faced up to some hard truths about how quickly I can work and the standards I’m holding myself to now that I can write full time. As there are still bills to be paid (and an adorable puppy to feed), I’ve been taking other writing jobs on the side. In my dreams beforehand, I’d already have three manuscripts out the door to beta readers and editors by now.
It hasn’t happened that way. Instead, I’ve floundered my way through some of the most intense exhaustion of my life, realizing that just because I have ten extra hours each day doesn’t actually mean I can spend all ten of them writing. I’ve been frustrated by the fact that I’m not spending all of my time on my own work, as I am still taking other writing projects to pay the bills. I’ve had tearful conversations with my confidantes about how scared I am that I’ve made a terrible mistake – because to be honest, this is terrifying as hell. I’ve been on and off the grid for email and calls, and things I swore wouldn’t slip through, have.
But it has also been amazing. I’ve slowly been learning the difference between the distress and eustress – that is, bad stress and good, productive stress. I’ve been able to take long lunch breaks once or twice per week to talk with people I deeply admire, hearing their stories and their worldview. I’ve had the opportunity not just to write in new genres, but to be paid to do so, and in the process I’ve researched all sorts of amazing topics. I’ve been able to go to the library every day. I’ve read more books in the past two months than I did in the two years beforehand. I’ve had more evenings to spend curled up with my husband, watching a movie.
Tonight, as I realize it’s Sunday night, I also realize that tomorrow I’ll get up (still early, as I do my best writing in the morning) and go to work on…whichever of my projects I want to work on that day. I’ll sit down at my own desk in a sunlit room with a cup of coffee and spin stories out of half-remembered dreams and that part of the brain that seems only accessible via the fingertips. Tomorrow will be a terrifying morning, I think – I am working on a story that feels like it is inches from tearing the still-beating heart out of my chest. I hope you will love it like I do. But it will be a Good morning, too, with a capital G.
And I owe it to a heap of ridiculous stubbornness, that’s true, but also to a crap load (technical term) of good luck: that my husband kept encouraging me to write the stories I told him about, that each of you picked up my books at just the right time to love them, that I had parents who read to me every night, that I met the fantastic crew of authors who provide inspiration and support to me now, that any number of things large and small fell into place. Right now, I feel very lucky.