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Things a writer must re-learn after even a brief hiatus…

What a blur!

That’s really the best way to describe the last few months of my life, the events of which have impacted my regular posts! I was in the middle of shopping my YA novel The Spirit Breather, working on a new project, and teaching composition part time when I faced some complications with my first pregnancy. But after a rescue cerclage operation at 22 weeks, a stopped preterm labor at 24 weeks, full bed rest through Jan. 6, and an unstoppable labor, which resulted in an emergency c-section at 27 weeks, my son is finally here! He is in the NICU since he surprised us so early, but he is doing well and on his way to coming home. Almost six weeks later, I am finally feeling better and writing again.

So…I am back to work on my WIP  and may have forgotten a few things since December 2, when I last worked on my story:

1. How to type: I haven’t used anything other than a touchscreen since I graded my finals the second week of December, so imagine my surprise when I sat down with my laptop this morning and discovered I had forgotten how to type! After editing several sloppy emails, however, I was happy to realize that typing is much like riding a bike–you’re a bit shaky at first, but you’re back in shape and comfortable in no time.

2. Most everything I had written in my WIP: Where was I? No clue. In order to move forward and make sense of my notes, I will have to go back and re-read the five chapters I had written before my impatient child began trying to grace us with his presence entirely too early (the fact that he succeeded in this makes me afraid for what a strong-willed kid I now have to raise–deep breath, deep breath). Not only do I have to re-read my manuscript, but I have to reacquaint myself with my characters, reexamine my plot, and rethink my original vision now that so much time has elapsed. So I definitely have my work cut out for me.

3. Time Management: I was on complete bed rest the entire month of December and a week in January, not to mention the five weeks of recovery post delivery, which basically means I was lying flat, watching hours upon hours of all the television Netflix and Amazon Prime have to offer. My sense of time for writing has been completely destroyed. On a more positive note, the hours of watching Grimm has made me realize that there may, in fact, a market for The Seers,  a YA novel I shelved a few years ago.

4. Motivation: For weeks, I have had no motivation to do anything except watch TV, lactate, and visit my son. Luckily, I am feeling like me again and have regained the desire to create, well, fictional people, as opposed to the very real person I literally created not long ago.

So, what’s the point to all of these ramblings? I’ve always been told to write every day. Never stop writing, or you’ll never go back to it. The bottom line, however, is that life sometimes drops ginormous Kansas-sized houses from the sky that end up landing right on top of you. I think that instead of forcing yourself to write through the storms of your life, sometimes, you just need to allow yourself to go through the traumatic circumstances, recover, and then rediscover who you are now that you’ve survived. I am not the same person I was three months ago as a person or as a writer. I have come through the scariest time of my life to date, and I am better and stronger for it. There are a few things I am going to have to re-learn after a lengthy break, but I’m happy to get back to it.

diary writing” by Fredrik Rubensson is licensed under CC BY 2.0