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a confession, a whim, and an unforeseen plot twist

It hasn’t been a great season of writing for me.

I finished the first draft of a middle grade novel last fall. I found some readers, collected some feedback, and then…imploded. I can’t explain it really. I felt creatively lost and so deeply discouraged. It was a darkness I could not understand, let alone describe.

So we took a break, this manuscript and I. (I was all, “It’s not you- it’s me. You’re great. Really. Well, there’s something wrong with you but I don’t know what it is or how to fix it. And it’s my fault. So I just can’t be with you right now. I don’t know what I want any more. Please stop calling me.“) I haven’t opened the manuscript since January. And in its absence,  I have tried to think more seriously about what exactly I’m trying to do with this fiction thing.

I stopped writing because it made me sad.

And then I felt sad because I wasn’t writing.

Fast forward three months.

Last week I read a post that a blog I’ve read for years, The Art of Simple, was taking open submissions. This is the blog where I found my tried and true french bread recipe (slow clap for that one.) This is the blog where I first heard about the crazy world of podcasts. This is the blog that made me start entertaining the idea of not dying my hair (an idea I have fully embraced.) To say that I’m a fan of this online spot would be an understatement.

I saw the article for submissions and thought, “I wish I had something to say.” But I didn’t, so I clicked away.

Well, I couldn’t sleep Wednesday night, and somewhere in the wee small hours of the morning, I remembered that I had drafted an essay that I liked but had never published. I read it over, gave it some tough love (which means delete adverbs and add commas, in my case). I submitted it that afternoon (a mere four days ago).

I fully expected a rejection, because that’s what I’ve been getting for the last four years of sending out my writing.

But not this time.

(You guys. I just can’t even.)

Today, on this regular old Monday, I’m a guest at The Art of Simple where I’m sharing my thoughts on home, putting down roots, and why my little corner of South Omaha means the world to me.  You can check it out here.

(And to all of you who sat with me in the dark places of the last few months, you have my wholehearted and tearful ‘thank you’.)

9 thoughts on “a confession, a whim, and an unforeseen plot twist

  1. Can’t love this enough friend. I understand the creative darkness…have had that to a degree myself and it’s confusing. Thank you for sharing that. So appreciate your vulnerability and the way you choose to wear it…in a way that both challenges and relates…encourages and says “me too”. It brings me joy that the people over at Art of Simple tapped into your gifts, writing voice and ability to connect with others through words.

  2. I’m here because of that article you wrote. You are a great writer, and it made me smile as my neighborhood is so similar to yours. Then I got to your author bio, and realized I can say “Hi” from down the interstate! I’m in Lincoln, and love it here. Thanks for the reminder to get out more in my neighborhood, and for simply writing when it’s been hard. I needed that reminder too. 🙂

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