Getting Back on the Horse

I feel I should apologize for my sudden absence but doing so sounds exhausting. So, I’m going to spare myself that hassle and just say: I’m back!

Some explanation is in order, though. Mid-September of last year, I descended into a sudden depressive episode. I’ll spare you the details, but essentially, it killed all desire to do anything but read and play video games. It’s taken me this long to feel marginally okay again.

It’s really disheartening how mental illness can be a roadblock to success. I was feeling super excited about all kinds of prospects last August. A couple of my poems were accepted for publication, and I was working on a novel that I was super excited about and felt positive was going somewhere.

In what felt like one day, it all unraveled. I didn’t want to write anymore. I lost all confidence in the quality of what I had already written and felt like the couple of successes I had with publishing my poetry were flukes.

In short, I felt hopeless and like I wasn’t good enough, wouldn’t ever be good enough, so why bother trying?

I’ve been telling myself that for most of my life. Boy, I’m really tired of me.

With the turn of the weather, I’ve felt much better. I’ve started writing again! I even submitted a couple of pieces for publication. Keep your fingers crossed for good news!

I feel more like myself again–it’s good to be back. And this time, I hope to stay for a long, long time.

Silence!

Everyone who has ever written anything knows writing is hard. There are many reasons why, and every writer’s journey is different. Something I struggle with may be easy for someone else and vice-versa.

I could write a novel about why writing a novel is difficult for me. But I won’t. Not today, anyway. I have something specific in mind and it’s universal to all forms of writing.

How does one deal with their inner critic?

I can’t say much yet, but yesterday, I wrote a poem comparing Donald Trump to the Titanic. I wrote it in a rush of creative madness, knocking out a 32-line poem in about twenty minutes. I bragged about it to my friend and on social media, and even texted my husband while he was at work, something I rarely do.

I thought I was so clever, and I was positive I could publish it.

And an hour later, I hated it. The more I re-read it, the more I thought it sounded like pretentious garbage, and I wondered how anyone could ever like it, much less anything else I write.

For the record, I’m back to believing in my cleverness. I finished editing the poem and have already scouted out some places I’d like to submit it to. Wish me luck!

But I know it’s just a momentary respite. Once I hit that submit button, I’m sure my fears will return.

So…how do you silence your inner critic? A girl could use some advice.

Oh, is This Your First Time?

Among all the changes to my life I’ve made since I turned thirty, I also decided I was going to begin submitting my writing. If I want to be published someday, I have to start putting myself out there. Opportunities aren’t just going to fall into my lap, after all!

Though, wouldn’t it be nice if they did?

During my research, I stumbled across a great online literary magazine called Mother’s Always Write, and I thought, why not? I’m a mother, and I write. Sometimes I even write about being a mother. Perfect fit, right?

I am proud to announce that my poem, The Robin will be published in the late summer issue on Monday, August 24th. Please look forward to it!

In the meantime, enjoy this short preview:

The robin bops
along, hurried,
harried,
at wit’s end—
I reckon she regrets
ever lying with a man.

On Turning Thirty

Whatever your personal feelings are on the matter, I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a strange year. In just seven months, we’ve dealt with, among other things, wildfires, murder hornets, and a global pandemic. It’s been a lot already, and the universe doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.

Another thing that happened in 2020 that’s personal to me: I turned thirty! Don’t ask me how I feel about it, because I don’t know. It’s odd to have a different digit at the beginning of my age, but I don’t feel any different.

Except, I do.

The me I want to be and the me I am are not the same person. I got sick of it. I don’t want to reach the end of my life as a bitter, depressed woman with a lifetime of regrets. So, I’ve changed a lot in my life. I’m going back to school. I’ve started a novel, which I’m very excited about. I’m trying to change my eating habits, and I’ve started an exercise regimen.

I’ve made a lot of decisions that will, hopefully, lead to a happier, healthier me. I deserve it, my husband deserves it, and my children deserve it.

So many times you hear that your twenties are meant to be the prime of your life. A lot of good things happened in my twenties, but the decade was also fraught with uncertainty. I waffled between what I wanted and what I thought was feasible, and, unfortunately, I chose to settle. Subsequently, I hit a bad depressive episode and flunked out of college.

Now, I’m older and, I think, a little wiser. At least, I’m less willing to settle.

All-in-all, thirty is feeling pretty good!