It's funny. I honestly didn't realize how appropriate that phrase was until I was thinking about this blog post and what to title it. I mean...I obviously KNOW the meaning behind that phrase. It's why I chose it for the series. I just never honestly thought about its application in my own life until now.
Taking a break from being an author has proven more difficult than initially thought. I got so used to spending most of my life online that I feel bereft of something that had become routine. I've already discussed my penchant for being a creature of habit.
Instead of waking up at 6am and immediately logging into my various social media accounts to catch up on all the notifications I missed overnight, now I just...drink my coffee.
It's kind of boring, not gonna lie.
I desperately miss having something to pull me out of the fog of sleep in the morning besides caffeine.
Still, I'm slowly getting used to it.
Cleaning up my diet has been a smooth transition. Abstaining from all alcoholic beverages has also been easier than imagined.
No real progress on more exercise or quitting smoking yet, but I'm also learning how to be gentler with myself and not expect perfection as soon as I snap my fingers.
I told you...moving the chains. Constant forward progress, no matter how small.
Along those lines, I've also been writing a bit every day. Just as much as I feel like. No pressure to finish 50k by the end of the month, or publish another book by next June. These characters are still whispering to me, and I've found as I released the vice-like NEED to make them appear, they're actually speaking to me more and more.
That doesn't mean they'll ever live like Evie and Rob did in my head, but that's okay. They're different. As they should be.
I'm absolutely not the same person now that I was when I started this journey three years ago. In some ways better, in some worse, but I'm working on the bad and trying to hold onto the good without having to throw the baby out with the bath water.
The best thing that's happened in the past week is a renewed love affair with reading. In an effort to distract myself from all the upheaval in my life, I've been binge reading anything I want. Not because I was asked, or had an ARC with a review deadline, or someone needed an extra set of eyes.
Just because I want to. Whatever strikes my fancy.
I've remembered some authors who I fell in love with long ago that had slipped by the wayside because I no longer had time to consume everything they published. I've gone back to the deepest recesses of my TBR and pulled out books I purchased years ago, but lost track of as the mountain grew ever larger.
I actually read through the entirety of Sawyer Bennett's Legal Affairs series, people!!! Do you know how many books that is and how long ago they were published??
(In case you're genuinely curious now, I'll tell you: 8, beginning in 2014 and ending in 2016. There might be more, I dunno. Several of the covers have changed; serial novellas have been condensed into bundles...like I said, over time, I lost track.)
I finished up the last book in that series this morning and sat down to write after having a brain blast about Revenge Love. Something completely unplanned, yet the moment it popped into my head, I knew it felt right. I opened up the document, made the necessary changes, then saved my work and didn't push myself to go any further. It will come to me when it's time.
And then I decided I was going to write down a list of the things I'd learned that weren't necessarily intuitive in the past 3 years. Real, tangible lessons that I could draw on the next time the shit hits the fan. (Because it will. It will just be differently colored shit. Maybe have a different heinous aroma, I dunno. Graphic? Yes. True? You betcha.)
And then I thought...fuck it. Might as well make a poster to hang near my desk to remind myself of these hard-won truths, right?
And so...because I don't know when I'll have a book to give you, I'll share with you the newest piece of "art" which will grace my office walls.
Tomorrow. When I pick it up from the printer. Because, fuck going outside today. It's too cold. (This may also be why exercise is going slow. COLD.)
I guess I can't quit yet. Dammit, Emma, Jason, and Kieran!
(Nah, just kidding. I love these assholes already. I hope you will, too.)
Until next time!
*sniffs more Black Pepper Oil* Still want a cigarette. Ah, well. I've got a couple more downs on this drive...