Jillian here. I know we don’t usually talk about our writing journeys over here but I wanted to share the most recent things that have been happening to me in my writing life that are helping me find joy again in my daily life.
I went through a bad several months of sadness and feeling listless and low. I’m normally very upbeat and when I’m not, people notice and badger me so while I was putting a false face on each day at work and home, I was sad inside. There was no real reason for it and to this day, I don’t know why I lost my joy but I did. I was never in any danger of harming myself but I didn’t feel like there were any new mountains to climb or exciting things on the horizon.
This was when I started seeing cardinals almost every day and that helped me through that darkness to some extent but I still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Being down is so not my norm.
I decided to get back to work on the young adult series I’d started and that character helped make me laugh again. She’s irreverent and sassy and says whatever she thinks. She’s very much a stream of consciousness kind of gal and writing her helped pull me up a bit. I couldn’t help but laugh at her escapades and trying to be clever in the dangers she faced pulled me out of myself and deeper into my creativity which usually brings me happiness.
Once I’d turned that story in to my fabulous editor (whom you all know and love- Laurie), I started on a Regency era novella. I’ve been approached to write this with a group of others for an anthology and being as it was only 20,000 words and not due until September, I started messing around with a character sketch of the heroine, never dreaming she would be so awesome that I’d immediately fall in love with her moxie and daring. She reinvigorated me and completed the job the YA heroine had started. I wrote that 20,000 words from one Tuesday to the next. AND I now have ideas for two more stories with this character. I’m excited to dive into two more novellas with her as well as the Christmas story and book three of the YA series.
It seems the joy I thought I’d lost is back. I’m feeling energized again and my mind is happy and engaged again. Some of this could also relate to having spent time with my oldest son for five days after an absence of a year (physical absence, not estrangement as we always stayed close in our emotional life).
But it’s amazing how our hobbies can help us pull out of a downward spiral, isn’t it?