Hello, Ladies and Gents.
Thank you all for stopping by to read my post. I have a lot to say so as I type this, I’m trying to organize my thoughts, which (if you know me) you know is no easy feat for me. Additionally, before I even sat down to write this post, I first had to sit down with my feelings…for weeks.
Let’s start way back at the beginning. I began blogging circa five years ago (give or take) and I’ve definitely said a lot of stuff about a lot of things. I even put blogging to rest more than once and ya’ll were great each time I decided to start back up again.
When I started blogging, I loved it so much. Ideas would run through my head constantly about what I wanted to talk about. And then I started gaining followers and people who refer to themselves as “fans” and that was so surreal to me. I felt like I was connecting in a way with so many people from all over the world and it gave me a sense of purpose especially since I was deemed “unfit for work” due to my Epilepsy not too long before I began blogging. I let you all into my life and shared personal stories with you and it was always my goal to get ya’ll to think a bit more or a bit differently about certain topics and just life in general. I’ve been deeply touched by how many comments I get on here that read like emails and I’ve become friendly with many of you on different social media platforms. When I started blogging, I loved it so much.
Not long after I started blogging, I felt this need to finish writing a novel I had started months before. I felt that I had to do this because it was on my bucket list AND I felt that I owed it to my younger self to write the coming out story that was not there for me when I needed it the most. I wanted to give that to at least ONE other person in this world. I thought if I could touch just ONE life and making coming out a little bit less lonely and/or hard for ONE person than I did what I set out to do. And that is how Taking the Lead was born. That story flowed so naturally for me. And when it was all over, it was well received and I thought for sure that was it and I was totally okay with that. But then I got another idea for a character randomly one day in the supermarket. I was going to name her Taylor and vicariously live through her to see what it might feel like to live a life of one-night stands. And so Something in Return was born. Before I was even finished writing Something in Return, I got an idea on a flight to Florida (I was going to someone’s wedding) about how we’re all connected and that there’s a reason for all of those connections and I wrote down some notes that would eventually become With a Purpose. Shortly after my third book, I started thinking about how much biphopia is in the lesbian community and about how NOT okay I was about that. I wanted to raise some awareness. The idea and characters came immediately and that became Never the Same.
But here’s what you may not know because it took years for me to admit it to myself: I was incredibly unhappy in my personal life for books 2-4. I was able to take the life I wanted it and make it real in my head and live it out vicariously through characters. I got to relive certain experiences and I got live out experiences I had never had. I would just sit down and write. I looked forward to it so much so that I got easily irritated if I couldn’t write on a day I had planned to. I had built up a “fan” base and even more blog followers and even made some friends and it’s because of one of my books that I fell in love with someone. And once I fell in love, I felt a sense of peace inside as if all the happily ever afters I had written about were finally mine to live out. I tried to write, really I did. But I couldn’t. There was no part of me that wanted to escape my reality. There was no part of me that wanted to live through anyone else. I wanted to be me in my life living my life just the way that it was. And it was awesome even though it was trying at times (but that’s life). It was so worth it.
But not all good things are meant to last. And as a way to heal from love lost, I wrote another story. It was the only way I could think of to get closure. And that’s how Wait for It came to life.
Sometime in the following year, I came up with another idea to push boundaries…again and I started my sixth story, Of All the Girls.
Then I fell in love again and I felt motivated to finish what little I had left to tell of that story and just enjoyed my life as it was again. Then something very terrible happened and it became crystal clear to me that I was nowhere near a happily ever after in the situation I was in. The thing was I didn’t know how to actually leave the situation so rather than actually leaving, I starting writing. Every day, I sat down and created a new reality and lived (once again) through characters and Not My Type just poured out of me. Like all of my books, it has its flaws but it’s my most successful book to date.
In the fall of 2018, I had a blip of an idea for another story. I saw someone post something on Facebook and immediately got a character idea. I wrote down some notes, scratched them up and wrote them again. And again. And again. And finally by December, I felt like I had a foundation and I started writing…but it didn’t last long. I kept feeling creatively blocked and I wasn’t sure why because I was mostly feeling really good about my life.
OHHH. Right. Maybe that’s why.
So for weeks, I’ve been struggling internally. I told my readers I was working on an eighth book because I was. I have thousands of words written but I’m exhausted. I don’t get excited to sit down and write. I don’t want to be in this story…I want to be in the story that is my life right now.
I kept asking myself once the idea of writing began to give my anxiety: “is it worth it?” And I kept feeling very unsure because the people-pleaser in me doesn’t want to let my readers down. The part of me that wants people in my life to feel proud of me didn’t want to get that taken away. Would I still get to call myself a writer if I stopped writing? What would that make me? Writing has always given me a sense of purpose so then what would my purpose be if I wasn’t writing. When people say, “What do you do?” then what would I say??? And lastly, there was this part of me that wanted to prove to myself that I could write a story after my last relationship.
But here is the thing, folks. After much sitting and thinking and lots of anxiety, I realized that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. If I were going to prove anything to anyone- I already did. Every time I broke, I got back up. I rebuilt my life. I opened my heart again and again to love and connections and THAT is proving who I am to myself.
I’m passionate about writing (generally speaking) and the words have always naturally poured out of me. Writing never felt like a chore- it felt like a need. I got so much pleasure from writing. I think that is how art should be created- through passion; out of passion…not out of obligation. This is not writer’s block. I repeat: this is NOT writer’s block. I know what my writer’s block feels like and this is a different feeling; a different entity.
I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in my creative life. But I’d be lying to myself and all of you if I said that that particular part of my life still felt true to me because it doesn’t…at least not now. And I’d rather not write at all than write something that feels inauthentic. I won’t do it and I won’t subject readers to that.
When my life fell apart in 2018 and for 11 and a half months, just kept continuing to fall apart, I used ALL of my energy to just try to keep my head above water. And slowly, I rebuilt my life from the most broken it’s ever been and more importantly, I rebuilt myself from the most broken I’ve ever been. I am so much stronger now from that terrible year (aside from getting my fur babies). I know myself in ways I didn’t before. I stand up for myself in ways I never knew how to do before. It might not seem like it but I actually DO give less fucks. I took my life back and I reclaimed myself.
My last birthday wasn’t what I had hoped for but overall, my life is pretty good all things considered. And I want to be present for all of it. I write to ya’ll all of the time encouraging you all to be the main characters in your own story as well as the authors. I encourage you to end chapters when they need to end and to begin new chapters with blind hope when it’s time. I have to do that too.
As a writer, I know when I’m done telling a story because I’ve wrapped everything up and I have nothing left in my heart to say about that particular story or the characters in it. I have a sense of finality that feels very calming and exciting at the same time.
With the project I started that was to be my eighth book, I don’t feel excitement. I don’t feel inspired. I definitely don’t feel like I want to escape anything or live vicariously through others. I don’t feel the passion. If this were a relationship, I would end it.
And you know what? It IS a relationship. And I feel that it’s time for me to step back and let it go. I’m not going to erase it but I’m not going to work on it. I’m going to do something I’ve never done before because it gives me so much anxiety: I’m going to leave something unfinished and I’m going to tell myself that this doesn’t make me a failure. Maybe some business is okay to leave unfinished.
My last relationship taught me SO many lessons but until now I didn’t realize that one of them was that sometimes, things don’t get to finish…at least not in the sense that everything gets wrapped up neatly and there’s a happy ending. Sometimes we don’t get closure. Sometimes stories stop abruptly and we don’t know why. And like many of us in relationships and/or situations we’re in, we try to keep the story going because we’re not quitters, right??? Of course not! So we stay in situations and relationships that aren’t the best for us because we don’t know how to walk away from an unfinished story with peace in our hearts without feeling guilty or like failures, etc etc.
I reached out to an artist friend before writing this post and I asked her, “Will I still be able to call myself a writer if I don’t finish this story?” And she said, “Yes, you are still a writer.”
In my heart, I have always been a writer. I’ve been creatively writing since I was about eleven years old. Short stories, poetry, novels, blog posts, etc. I love writing and I want to keep having a love of writing but what that means for me right now is letting go of it.
I’m in a place in my life right now where writing (including blogging) reminds me of a previous, extremely unhappy version of myself. That version of myself helped me grow and become the version of myself that I am now so she’s a part of me but she’s not me anymore.
If and when I feel moved to write again, I will. But I have to be true to myself. I owe this to myself and I owe it all of you as well. I have to leave this story unfinished and be okay with that. I’m going to figure out how to convince myself that this doesn’t make me a failure or a disappointment…it simply makes me a person who trusts themselves enough to know the difference between passionate storytelling and forced storytelling and I never ever want to do the latter.
To my readers, I apologize for prematurely announcing my project because there’s a strong chance it won’t ever see the light of day. But I’m not sorry for stopping myself from delivering ya’ll a story that was forced.
I tell you all that I go by some rules and one of them is: if there is a story in your heart, you should tell it.
THIS right here in this moment and in this post is me telling you my story. The story of how many stories I’ve written and how many characters I’ve brought to life and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. This is the story of how I put all of my broken pieces back together to create something more beautiful than any fiction story I could ever tell: my real life.
Perhaps someday, I’ll be back at it. No one knows, right?
But it’s truly time for me to end this chapter of my life…this blog included. I will always have so much to say but I want to start doing that on a more personal level. Ya’ll are welcome to follow me on social media and please know that from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate ALL of your support and encouragement and all the follows and fans and the comments. I hope that what I’ve already created keeps touching people and that at least something I’ve written in a blog after all of these years has resonated with someone. I actually know that it has and I’m so grateful for that.
When I started blogging, I loved it so much. When I started writing romance novels, I loved it so much from the very first book up to the very last word in the seventh book. But that was what feels like a lifetime ago.
This isn’t supposed to be a sad goodbye. I’m actually a little proud of myself for being able to trust myself and to trust that something just doesn’t feel entirely right about writing at this point in my life.
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
So thank you for being such a huge part of this adventure with me. You will never know how thankful I am for all of you. And I wish you all nothing but happily ever afters.
I’m going to live out some of my real life story…and I hope you all do the same.
Thank you for reading.