We have one of those amazing and entertaining new washing machines with a window on top. There is no agitator, but it sure does spin, scatter, and swirl the clothes around so they cling to the edges, like those stand up spinning rides at traveling carnivals- you know, the ones that make you want to vomit and leave you feeling as if you are still spinning even after you flee the ride?
This has been my life this last year. Every time I feel I may be gaining control and pulling the pieces together, everything starts spinning chaotically again.
When my life spins out of control, my writing habits spin out of control. I like- no, I NEED- to have a plan at all times. I’m a bit of a control freak. Don’t get me wrong. I do not need to plan every minute detail in life. I can respect and even enjoy some spontaneity, as long as I can still do what I already planned.
A year ago, I was publishing my second book in the Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl series, preparing for a mission trip, and enjoying a whole lot of freedom.
During the summer, my whole world changed as my husband and I took in a 4 year old family member with no time to prepare. We had only ever had cats and dogs… now we had a human. Along with that came many personal and family conflicts and issues, so my writing took a back seat to it all. I always tell aspiring authors/writers to write at least a little every day to keep up in the craft, but I was no longer able to do it myself (of course, that’s partly because I need huge chunks of time to write). What a hypocrite I’d become.
Finally, I was at a place where life was gaining regularity and I could see writing on the horizon again… until another life-changing event took place. I began to feel hopeless in ever being able to write again, and even though it’s always been an outlet to me, I just wasn’t able to do it, even in the moments when I had time. I couldn’t feel it in a way where I could make the right words.
My protagonist, Drew, is a bit of an inspiration to me (and oddly she is a good deal of a younger me). The book title would have readers believe she is ordinary, but she is the hero because she is actually anything but ordinary. I don’t think anyone is truly ordinary, but she is relatable, because she struggles with issues we all struggle with. It’s her personality and how she reacts and views these struggles that make her extraordinary.
I’ve had a tough year, and I’m still learning to deal with everything as it comes, but I found time recently to write a couple posts on this neglected blog, and I’ve gotten back into the planning phase of Drew’s sophomore year of high school, with a plan in place to start writing it out this fall. I began to lose hope and just give up my passion and my dream, feeling like maybe it just wasn’t important in the midst of my current struggles, but I realize I need to hold onto that part of myself, no matter what. You should always hold onto your dreams and your passions, even if you have to put them on hold from time to time; when you do achieve them, they will be that much sweeter. Most people will never know what you will go through to get to where you’re going, but you will.
Life happens around you and to you, and there isn’t always much you can do about that; it’s how you react to it that counts.