Photo: I like this photo because it represents exactly where my brain is right now. Where to look? Where to go? What to focus on? So many possibilities, so many opportunities… and yet, there is something a bit overwhelming about it all.

 

So, NaNoWriMo starts November 1st? Damn. Seriously? Can’t catch a damn break up in here.

It was my husband who reminded me. He was like, “so, what are you doing next month? We going for Meadowlark III?”

The “we” in that was mighty funny. I’m grateful that my husband is my biggest fan. But also, it was like, oh crap! I’ve got nothing!

Well, not nothing… I have two viable ideas that I’d like to explore. One of them is, indeed, the third installment of the novella series that I usually work on for NaNo. The other is a start of a different series, still likely novella-length. But maybe novel-length? I’d better decide pretty quickly!

But ideas aren’t outlines, and I need an outline to write with any sort of coherence. I know about the phenomenon of other writers sitting in front of the blank screen and following the words where they lead, but I can’t handle that. It’s chaotic and makes me anxious. Mostly, it results in rubbish.

But can I outline a story worth telling in little over a week? Welp, that’s the great and grand question of the week. No coffees, no meetings, no chatting and driving around MetroWest with little purpose. I’ve dedicated the entire week to get ready.

In so doing, I’m putting this month behind me. I woke up on Sunday, put on my favorite outfit, and went to church with a smile on. I decided to dedicate myself to feelings other than pain or guilt. It was a difficult thing at first, but stepping out into the sunshine and then stepping into a community that I increasingly find place, meaning and purpose in really, really helped. I woke up this morning feeling less dread, more focused. I broke out my notebook and really got to work. Coffee had full taste again. Full color is coming back to my world.  It felt great, Dear Reader. It really did.

I won’t try to fool myself into thinking I’m back 100%. There is still pain and a void that feels insurmountable. I’m still playing catch-up, but most of the tasks are done. I refuse to step into November feeling overwhelmed by sorrow. I want to start November 1st with a powerful story to tell.

So, I’m actually going to step away from here and get on Evernote to continue my brainstorming. I have to continue researching the lives of private/personal chefs and what they do. I also have some reading to do tonight–I bought a training to help me with this whole querying thing. I am not going to lie, this thing with trying to find an agent and get published the old-fashioned way causes me anxiety and a little bit of anger. There is something archaic about it, and it’s certainly an arduous process. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it. I really hope that this exercise in patience and hard work will be rewarded!

It’s Monday night and it feels like we’re off to a great start, Dear Reader. I hope that the momentum of a productive day will carry you all the way through to Friday. I promise to find something real and substantial to write about, and to keep my streak going: no fail posts this week. Can’t get lazy. Gotta get back into it.

Until Wednesday, take care.

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