This morning I typed THE END on the first draft of my seventh novel. That means, in the past month, since I shared about not being able to write any words, I’ve written about 15,000. Ah the rollercoaster ride of a creative.
This book was a tough one to finish. When I started it a year ago I was in love. With the concept, the characters, the vibes, everything. The May 2021 version of me was brimming with author confidence. I was writing regularly and working with an amazing book coach who was really helping me find balance in my life.
(Side note: any writers out there looking for support from a book coach, I highly recommend Camille Pagán. She is amazing and focuses on much more than just your book.)
Unfortunately, when an avalanche of both personal and professional disappointments hit me at the same time, I lost faith. In the story yes, but mainly in myself. I promptly forgot all of the things my coach had taught me about dealing with disappointment and abandoned this book (and writing) completely.
By the time I’d decided I wasn’t actually a shitty writer, the bloom was off the rose for this story and I moved onto a new and shiny idea.
This story waited for me, though. Waited until I was ready to dive back in and once I did, the last 15,000 words just flowed out of me. In fact, I thought I had two more chapters to write but my main character said no and decided 25 chapters was enough. I’ve got some notes on what I want to tackle in the revision in order to make it even better. Hopefully my characters agree with them.
One of the things Camille taught me in our coaching sessions was I needed to tell a better story about myself. The comment struck such a chord with me that I wrote it on a post-it that is now stuck to my computer screen.
Having the confidence to pick this novel back up and finish it, is me telling a better story about myself. A story about a writer who has the confidence to trust her instincts. A writer who knows when a story is good. A writer who can bounce back from disappointment.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
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