How do you put to words what you can’t even comprehend?
The answer is you don’t.
Sure, you can try your hardest to describe it, you can try your hardest to understand what you’re thinking and feeling, but the truth is it never does it justice in the end.
So…what do you do?
The answer is I don’t know.
For the past several days to a week now that has been my dilemma. I can’t seem to comprehend the emotions and thoughts whirling out of control and spiraling into so many different aspects.
Maybe it’s been the awful week I’ve had, or maybe it’s a whole lot more.
The truth is it doesn’t matter how long I spend thinking and trying to find the root, I’m not finding it. I don’t think I’m ever going to find it.
Maybe it’s irrational fear, or maybe it’s not irrational. Perhaps it’s hesitance, or even a panicked desperateness because it feels like time is running out. For all I know it’s insecurity, and uncertainty. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s all of the above.
As a writer, have you ever had this great big project that is your heart and soul? A novel, a story, a series, a poem even, that’s your baby? The work you will forever cherish and love above all others?
I have one. Mine’s a series.
I’ve spent the last two and a half years, almost three, working on it. But I’m still only on Book 1 of the series, and I’m still writing. I’m not editing and re-editing yet. I’m not polishing and making it great. I’m still…writing.
I’ve come so far in it and I can see that light at the end of the tunnel that is the very last chapter of Book 1, and I can see the pulsing light that is the beginning of Book 2 just waiting for me to grab it.
But I’m not reaching either.
Pretty soon another year of my life is going to turn the clock of my age, and all I can think about is time is slipping away from me and I am getting nowhere fast, with hardly anything to show for these last four years of my life.
I hate that day. Every year I wish I could skip it. It doesn’t hold any good memories for me, so why bother celebrating and listening to a chorus of excited friends wishing you well on a day that only makes you bitter?
I’ve never liked that day, and I never will. This year it is filling me with more than just dread.
I’m a published author, and I have a confession to make.
With another year on the calendar of age about to tick by, I am terrified the series that is my baby is never going to be completed. I am terrified that one day too soon, life is going to shred the wool over my eyes telling me “you’re still young, you have a lot of time”, and it is going to drop me to fall from the skies until I hit rock bottom.
Friends will be graduating college this year, starting their careers in something they love. They will be taking adventures and going places while I’m left in the dust to try to stumble after them as I have been doing for years now.
Where am I going? What am I even doing?
There is no direction that I can see. Take it one day at a time, they say. There’s no rush, they say.
But there is.
Because soon “one day at a time” will be too late to do anything else. One day there will be a rush because you just never know what tomorrow is going to hold, especially in this day and age.
So what do you do when you feel stuck, when you feel desperate?
I have another confession.
While I may have gotten a foot in the door of the publishing world, of my dream to be an author, I do not write nearly as much as an author should. I can hardly even call myself a writer anymore. If it wasn’t for the weekly flash fiction, or the group in which we write together for a short period of time each week, I would probably not write a word until NaNo starts up again.
It’s not because I don’t want to write. I do. It hurts and it is killing me inside that I’m not writing. Sure there might be a little hesitance over it since I need to read to pick up where I am, and sure some of my will to write may have been squashed by disappointment and a change of plans, but the want to write is still there.
Yet I’m not writing…
After almost three years I am desperate to finish this book. I am desperate to take that larger chance at getting published. I am tired of waiting, of putting it off, of everything in life getting in the way. Because now life is passing by without me.
I’ve been asked before if I’m happy, truly happy with my life. I can never answer that question, at least not out loud because I know the answer is one I never want to admit to anyone.
Now… Do you know what thought continues to cross my mind out of this desperate uncertainty?
That the only way I am ever going to finish this novel, to take that leap, or the only way I am going to start building a real career and life for myself, gaining freedom, is if I quit my job and spend my time doing what I want: writing, going back to school, trying to learn to drive.
Because trying to do it on top of working just isn’t happening anymore.
If I were to make it work while still working, I would have to become a recluse that does nothing, goes nowhere, and talks to nobody.
And I can’t get the thought out of my head now.
Yes, I am a published author, but I confess I am terrified I will never make it out of this lifeless cycle if I do not do something drastic to reach my dreams.