All I ever wanted to be was an author. I’ve known that since I was nine years old. There was nothing I wanted more, and no goal I worked harder towards, than becoming an author. I had so many big ideas that I was so excited to write and, after eleven years of writing, after every personal struggle I faced, I released my first book. I published Hellhound’s Delight in 2018.
I was so excited. Hellhound’s Delight was proof to myself that I could do it. I could really be a published author. I was ready to write my next book.
Until I wasn’t. I still had so many big ideas that were ready to be written and so many ideas that were turned into solid plans, but nothing made it onto the page. I was still writing, of course, forever tweaking endless ideas until they were planned out to death, and I wasn’t excited about them anymore, but no matter how hard I tried to put words – real words – on a page, the pages stayed blank.
Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years, and suddenly I wake up in May 2022 and realize that I haven’t written anything in almost four years, like the passion and inspiration that burned for so long in me had fizzled out.
It wasn’t stress (though those years were stressful; finishing college and dealing with a global pandemic does that to you) and I don’t know that you can call it writer’s block either. It's more like creative block, like that part of myself, the part I was proudest of, died, and I hadn’t even noticed until it was too late.
Those were hard days, and I had to ask myself hard questions, things I never imagined I’d have to ask. Am I really a writer? Have I spent so much of my life working towards a goal that isn’t really mine? Do I even want to write anymore?
(If you’ve made it this far, and are starting to worry, don’t. This story has a happy ending.)
I struggled. I struggled for a while to answer those questions. For so long, writing has been part of my identity. To question myself as a writer, to ask if I even wanted to do it anymore, felt like I was questioning myself as a person. If I wasn’t a writer and never had been, who was I? If I didn’t want to write anymore, who would I be?
There’s nothing fun about looking yourself in the mirror and asking tough questions, but I had to do it. I was never going to move forward – in any direction – without the answers and, once I had answers, there were some things I needed to accept.
I’m not, and never was, a writer because I can write well or because it comes easily. I’m a writer because I don’t know any other way to express myself. It’s the part of me that is braver and bolder than I ever knew I could be. I could never write another story as long as I live, and I would still be a writer – and I will write another story (told you there’s a happy ending).
Now if only writing stories was as easy as several months' worth of soul-searching. I wish I could say that the words came back to me when I found answers to the questions that scared me; they didn’t. I’m still struggling to put words on paper, but I’m trying. Every day, I try to write more than I did the day before. Sometimes I do, most days I don’t, but I’m not giving up.
So, if you made it to the end, you’re probably wondering why I decided to share this after staying quiet for so long. Well, the real answer is that I’m hoping you’ll root for me. Starting November 1, I intend to participate in National Novel Writing Month for the first time in a very long time. My goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. I don’t know if I’ll finish, but I’m going to try. Wish me luck!
Want to follow my progress? Check back here daily for updates, starting November 1!
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 56,251 WORDS