Writing is Not of the Faint of Heart

Six weeks ago I was sitting in a hotel trying desperately to finish the first draft of my book When Life Hands You Lymes. That week I was able to focus, run toward my goal, spend mega hours on writing and plot development and I finished the book that Friday.

Since then though, my brain has been at less than optimum capacity. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like I’ve been sitting around twiddling my thumbs because I haven’t. I read 26 books, spent three weeks in Aruba with my family, spent three days filming with my adopted family, finished the A to Z Challenge, half-plotted a book, lived life, kept up with my other job, cooked dozens of meals, cut large amounts of grass, went to church, graduation parties and a bridal shower, studied the art of writing, and tons of other things. 
But every time I sat down to start my next book… Ugg. It just didn’t happen. 
I didn’t have writer’s block. In fact I’ve gotten some great ideas and even a few really cool sentences that I’ve jotted down in my notes. Plus, I know what I want to write. It’s more that my brain let out a pitiful whimper and begged for mercy and some rest. 
I’ve decided there’s only so much time and energy I can spend on constructing a character and giving her a reason to live, a goal to run to, find realistic obstacles to pop up in her path so she has to climb over or around them and therefore get stronger, a lie to believe and then discover, a whole supporting cast, compelling setting, a solid character arch, a relatable and consistent personality and a few unique quarks before I need to take a break from it all. 
See, I haven’t been tired of writing, instead I’m tired from writing. And that’s ok.
Because you know what? I like writing. A lot. I enjoy the process. I get excited when I see the words piling up on a page. I feel a sense of accomplishment when a story begins coming together. A plot twist or an solid sentence can make me gleeful. Knowing that my words are effecting people I don’t know and will in all likelihood never meet fills me with a sense of awe.

It’s only three more days until I reach the six week mark since I finished writing the book and I’m able to jump into the second draft of When Life Hands You Lymes. I’m antsy to get started, to read the story and determine just how good it really is. To soak the words in and tweak them, rewrite them, lob them off the page and replace them with firmer, more powerful word choices.

I’m also a little bit (make that a lot) overwhelmed at the thought of wading into such a huge project. I wrote on this book every single day for 465 days. I amassed gigantic amounts of words. I already threw out thousands and thousands of the unnecessary words, but I know there will be tons more to chop away at.

I also switched back and forth between writing styles (first person present tense and first person past tense), totally changed the main character’s personality part way through, reinvented a close relationship during the last two months of writing and threw myself so many curve balls I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with them while remaining calm.

It’s going to be good though. A massive learning experience. A feat that stretches me. A challenge to tackle. And I can hardly wait for it to arrive.

* * *
What about you? Do you have something you’re really looking forward to but slightly dreading at the same time? 

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