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Where I've been...

It’s been over a year since I posted on here.

It's been a year of change. Good changes, I moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, I met a man who became the great love of my life, I deferred from my graduate school program and began working full time for a chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. 

I revised my novel, had it edited, decided to self-publish, and finished the first draft of the second book.

My life is good. I enjoy it. I laugh with my boyfriend and I go to work and I find happiness in Pittsburgh, against all odds. But my heart hurts because somewhere along the way, somewhere between finishing the first draft of the second book in the series I’ve been writing since January of 2022 and trying to create the final draft of my novel, I lost my love for my story.


Maybe. I don’t know. I just know that I decided to self-publish, paid someone to create a cover, and started doing final revisions on the manuscript, and somewhere around halfway through, I couldn’t convince myself to keep reading. It’s like pulling teeth to get myself to read it, to perfect it, and it’s not because the story isn’t good or that I’m not proud of it. I am so proud of it. It is and always will be my favorite thing I’ve ever done. 


Writing is my whole life and when I’m not doing it, I physically ache. I set up projects and I don’t pace myself so projects that should take someone working 40 hours a week six months take me three. I don’t sleep, I have a hard time focusing at work, and I throw myself into my writing because it was all I had for years. I work myself into creative burnout and then take a few months to be miserable before remembering how much I love it. And the cycle continues. I've done it half a dozen times and each time, it was excruciating, because writing was the only thing in my life that makes me truly feel alive.


And now I have other things that give me that feeling. I have Andrew, who is endlessly supportive of my writing career, who became my best friend, who takes care of me better than anyone and loves me, really truly loves me. I have friends, I have family, and I am scared out of my mind that maybe…I don’t need writing anymore. 


That’s the first time I’ve been able to put this feeling into words. 


Something I worked this hard on for so long can’t sit on my computer’s hard drive collecting dust forever. It just can’t. I wrote two books! I love both of them! I have ideas for a third!

And I'm terrified.

I want my story to be read by other people so badly, but how can I put something out into the world that I can't even make myself read?


I'm not tired of the story. I have not lost my love for writing. I am scared and burned out, and I don't know if putting these thoughts out in the world will make me feel better, but it has to be better than silently screaming them in my head for the last two months.


Each time this has happened to me, it has been awful. Excruciatingly painful, every day I'm not putting words on paper. And it feels that way this time too, and that scares me, but it also gives me hope. Because if it hurts this much, I must still need it, right?


Right?


God, I hope so. Because I love my story. Every song I hear makes me think about one of my characters. Every book I read has scenes that make me want to write thousands of words because books and reading and writing make me feel something, even when nothing else does.


I have to need this thing that makes me feel alive because it is the only thing I know I'm good at, really, truly good at, and if I don't have it... if I don't have other worlds to fall into when this world doesn't make sense, if I don't have my characters to talk to when everyone else in my life doesn't know what to say to make me feel better, if I don't have something to prove to the world that I'm worth something...that thought terrifies me more than anything else.


Everything I've typed in this post so far makes it sound like I need writing. And I do. But why don't I feel that way right now? Why can't I push myself to have a purpose again?

Usually, my characters can make sense of the tangle of thoughts in my head, but lately, they're quiet too. Even the ones that are pieces of me broken off and given names.

I miss them. I miss them so much and there's nothing in the world that makes me feel the way writing about them does.


I will get my love for my craft back. I don't know when, but I will make it happen.

And until I do...maybe I'll start posting here more again. Because I forgot that sometimes I write the things I need to hear. And this post has shown me more of myself than anything has for a while.


Until next time, friends.


~ Emma




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