I have put this off long enough. Almost a year ago this month, I started on my second novel, The Quiet Ones. I wanted to make it feel completely different than my first to prove (mostly to myself) that I could push myself creatively. We All Fall Down will always be one of my favorite stories. I still miss those characters and toy with the idea of writing more on them. It also served as my launching point, jumping off the cliff and hoping my parachute deploys.
This blog was meant to expose how time consuming and trying it can be to complete a novel and get it across the finish line. The writing part is what comes easy – it’s everything after that makes you want to curl up and cry (especially when you don’t have a publisher yet). To my surprise, some of you are interested in other facets of my life, like my workout routines and my recipes and my own special way of navigating mom life with human life… they are not always one in the same. I’m just a person that needs to be working towards something. I feel like if I’m not, I start to lose purpose. My kids are my entire life, they are the reason I wake up and do everything that I do! I think a lot of people sometimes look at me and wonder how I always have it .
I do have days where they make me want to pull out my hair and hide in the closet but it doesn’t mean that the next day won’t be better. I always try to wake up with a reset. I am fortunate that I get to do what I’m passionate about everyday WHILE getting to be with my girls. The fact that I don’t have to work and I’m afforded things as a wife/mother/woman that others are not, is not lost on me. So, no matter how different and stressful it can be sometimes, I always want to be appreciative and show appreciation for it by spreading that positivity in any way I can.
Is it easy to run five miles pushing an almost 3 and 5 year old who woke me up WAY too early? No. Is it easy to write when my brain wants to do it while my kids want to play Candy Land? No. Would it be easier to just order out for every meal and not have to factor in time to cook, time to clean and remember to defrost for the next meal? Absolutely! BUT… I love doing it and I know that my husband enjoys coming home to a meal I’ve prepared for us. I like to see what I’m capable of physically and with my writing. It’s not all about what is fun or easy, however. In order to feel that sense of accomplishment, I must do things that are difficult and make me step out of the comfort zone that I would REALLY like to remain in.
One of those things, as far as writing goes, is working on publishing. I chose to self-publish We All Fall Down in the end because I felt like it would give you all a sense of what I truly love to write, how I write it and just make those connections that are deeper than Instagram. I like to think it worked. I’m sure there are things that could be better about it… it should have been
longer, I probably needed more editing, the line spacing still torments me, but that’s not what it was about. I did the best I could with what I had and now, the second time around I have much more knowledge and just a stronger sense of how to move forward.
I’m not a person who likes to ask for help… but I did. Funny enough, the majority of the help I got, was from people I did not ask, which I found to be truly humbling. Those people believed in me and wanted to lend a hand regardless of what they thought of what I produced and I am forever grateful for that. If that wasn’t a sign for me to buck up… I don’t know what is.
This time around, I want to show myself and those people that I will not rest on their selflessness. I took what I learned and the earnings I made and I hired an editor. I am pleased with my word count, I’m confident with my final edits, I’m extremely happy with the feedback from my beta readers and now… I’m going to start my agent search.
I don’t like this part. Rejection will never be something I can accept with grace. Each “no” is followed by tears and self loathing. BUT, each time, I allowed myself the grace and a minute to not be OK before I dusted it off and pushed forward once more. I am confident with what I’ve done and I am proud of what I’ve created but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to have an agent pass on it. Those Query emails take no less than thirty minutes to write out. So, when they decline, I think about the time spent working on it that I could have been doing ANYTHING else. It’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s a part of the process and I have to learn to accept the bad with the good and realize that the WHOLE makes me stronger and ultimately better.
Life, to me, is not always about how I think it should go and what I want to happen. It’s how you make blueberry lemon muffins from leftover lemons.