I’ve got one foot in reality and one toenail in my made-up worlds…and it’s rather confusing.
It isn’t just the homeschooling, although that is difficult. It isn’t just the feeling that every day is a little bit like groundhog day but it’s hot.
The really hard part is just feeling…stuck. I know my children are missing ‘real’ school and their friends. I don’t love homeschooling, not by a long shot, but I’m content to keep my children a little safer and maybe in a small way contribute to the safety of families who don’t have the option of homeschooling.
But I’m really stuck on a few things with this story, and kind of stuck creatively. When that happens this stuck-ness sort of bleeds into most aspects of my life. Thankfully, like 2020, It won’t last. Eventually I will wiggle my way out of this mess, grab the disconnected pieces, and shout, “Aha! That’s it!” and stitch them back together in a more cohesive and beautifully resonant story.
But sometimes I look at my current main characters and think, “you poor babies. You think fighting a deadly curse is hard? Try homeschooling in a pandemic.” And then I have a little pity party because I wish I could jump into my story and get lost in the huge castle and that my biggest problems were its quirks and magic “issues” (that’s what I’ll call them for now). And then someone asks me for a snack for the 4,478th time and I realize that I had a deeply rooted need to create a certain magical item that cooks an entire dinner instantly. (Not a microwave. And not hotdogs. Actual, nice food.)
I think of the themes of the story, how they feel so close to me and too big for me to write about at the same time. How this book is stretching me in terrifying ways, pulling me out of myself and calling me home a little bit too.
I guess it’s finding the ways that writing doesn’t just help me escape reality for a little bit, but maybe help me process, enjoy, mourn, or protest parts of it. Yes, life is hard right now. It will be for a while. And I don’t really know what the other side will look like either.
In the meantime I’m still trying to be a little creative every day until this story shows me a clear path again. I hope, if it’s what you need, that you can too.
Yours in the Journey,
P.S. This is an excerpt from my monthly newsletter. Next month will include lots of fun things, including some amazing people I’ve ‘met’ through Instagram, more book deals, and an excerpt from one of my WIPs. If that sounds like your jam, you can sign up here.