It’s Thanksgiving Eve, and I’m sitting at my desk in my office. This time last year, I was celebrating the fact that I had crushed my Nanowrimo goal and written basically an entire book in the month of November. That book, A Storybook Wedding, hits shelves May 14, 2024. It was a total rewrite of what was supposed to be the sequel to The Book Proposal; the original iteration now lives in a drawer (although hopefully it will resurface in the future).
Allow me to rewind a sec, though, back to the summer of 2022. I was in Cape Cod, toiling away on what was supposed to be book 3 of my Sourcebooks contract. I wrote 82,000 words of a manuscript entitled The Book Baby. It wasn’t done when I set it to the side to rewrite book 2, but it was close. This fall, I dug it out of my Microsoft Word files, intending to spruce it up and submit it to my editor. Easy peasy, right?
I began rereading it only to find that none of it made sense without the original book 2. I tried to reconstruct the premise, only to find that I was complicating everything and turning something that was supposed to be light and funny into something much heavier and decidedly un-funny. Which left me with exactly one option.
I found myself having to write a whole new manuscript from scratch.
So I said, no worries, it’s Nano. I did it once, I can do it again! Only… I could not for the life of me come up with an idea. I brainstormed. My poor husband had to listen to me bounce idea after idea off him. He tried to offer suggestions, only to hear me play devil’s advocate over and over. I wrote the beginning of one thing, scrapped it, started something else, watched it go nowhere. Finally, we – yes, we, because credit where credit is due, he came up with the title – decided on a new idea. I think I like it. I feel like I could be passionate about it.
I’ve written eight pages, and it’s due February 15th.
And I’m panicking a little.
My Nanowrimo chalkboard – the one in my office that’s supposed to be a progress tracker – is embarrassing. It shames me every day when I come into work. My word count right now is 1,828.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
The holidays are coming – Christmas demands my attention. I have to shop, wrap gifts, bake things, be a mom, never mind my full time day job running an actual company or my side-side-hustle handling my social media (which I finally feel like I’ve figured out, and which could very honestly be a full-time job all its own).
Typically, I try to write blog posts with things I’ve learned, exciting news, interesting tidbits, that sort of thing. I try not to verbally hyperventilate into the void – but, here we are. I guess there’s some grace in being honest. In sharing that sometimes, being a writer is just plain hard. Creating art requires a certain mindset, and I’m not sure why I’m having such a tough time right now. But I am.
I’ll get there. Not today, obviously. But hopefully soon. The struggle is part of the process. Part of the journey. And I’m grateful for it, even when it’s hard, in much the same way that I’m grateful for my kids even when I’m not momming at 100%.
This Thanksgiving, and every day, I remain incredibly thankful to call myself an author.