Alright, the moment of doom has approached. We start the fourth week of the semester tomorrow, and we have now come upon February. As you may remember, I said that I would begin the query process at the end of January, having thoroughly completed all of my edits for this story. I also said by this point, I would 100% know the title of the book and begin a new story.
Are you surprised that I did not reach my goals?
That may sound very pessimistic, especially for me, but it is difficult for me to erase that negativity from my mind since I was so looking forward to this process and beginning to query.
Of course, unexpected things come up, like the combination of school and work making me more exhausted than usual. This week in particular has been difficult.
I had planned on cracking down on my editing this past week in preparation of my internal writing deadline, but instead my body decided to get the flu (even after getting the flu-shot) and bronchitis, so I have been tired and not really in the mood to write or edit this week–while simultaneously, desperately wanting to write and edit so that I feel more accomplished with my goals.
After all, after announcing them on this blog, I felt like the goals became more like deadlines in my mind because of expectation for myself becoming more real, so I struggle with not being disappointed with how it turned out.
Sticky Notes. So Many Sticky Notes!
This week has been difficult to cope with, but there is a lot of inspiration left in me, and it is through my efforts that I find comfort.
I have been reminded of the feelings I had just about a year and a half ago when beginning this project, and I discussed it in the blog post, A New Story, that I posted on December 02, 2018.
I was feeling so horrible for not keeping up with my first completed novel that I was terrified to start another, and I was caught in this rut where I felt so unaccomplished and worthless as a writer. The last few months, I have been flipping between inspiration and madness, and it worries me that I may be wasting time on this book when I should be starting something else, the way I had been devoted to one book for five years before finally moving on.
Here is the difference, though:
I have so many sticky notes flailed about my notebooks, planners, and desk with writing notes for this book as well as writing goals in the future, after I have finished editing this book.
It seems each day I am adding another sticky note to my collection, another aspect I want to include, and though it does make me feel anxious because I have so much to do and want to do it now, it also makes me feel confident that there is much left to do with this book, that my journey is not done with it.
With my last book, I was out of ideas, and there were no sticky notes in the last two years of editing. My endless edits consisted of just rereading words until they no longer made sense and being sure that something was wrong with it, but nothing ever changed.
In this book, I still have so much to say, and its plot, characters, motivations are extremely important to me, so I know I have to continue it.
My relationship with this book is much different than the previous one. This one is coming to a close, and I can feel it with each word, with each day moving towards the query for which I am preparing.
I have just become impatient with waiting, but I am practicing patience.
Kind of. Sort of. When I feel like it. *enter writing anxiety here.*
So the sticky notes are a stressful but important reminder that I need to keep pursuing these goals with this book, even though my self-doubt may tell me otherwise.
Of course, it would help if I could pick a title… but it will come to me eventually, right?
For right now, I have settled on True Power, but I definitely feel like it could have a better title. Despite this, I am sure that it will get the title it deserves some day, even if I do not come up with it before querying.
Lady Grey Tea.
It seems crazy that a lot of what has helped me through this process of editing is a particular tea, even crazier that this tea has been vacated from my cabinets since I was a lot younger.
At the grocery store back in mid-December, I was grabbing my normal, daily tea, Twining’s Irish Breakfast, an addiction I inherited from my mom, when I stopped and puzzled at the Twining’s Lady Grey Tea right beside it.
When I was a kid, it seemed that my mom always had Lady Grey in our house, and if I remember correctly, it was the only tea I would drink for a long time since I thought my mom’s tea was too bitter.
I remembered this tea fondly as I looked at the box, and I decided that, just for fun, I should pick it up again for the nostalgic taste.
When I got home, I immediately brewed a cup and settled in at my desk for a good editing session, and you may not believe me, but it was the best editing I had accomplished in a long time.
Everything began to flow, words pouring out of me, and I was suddenly way more inspired by the story unfolding in front of me.
It might have been the variety in tea, or maybe it truly was the nostalgic presence, but one thing is for sure, every time I have made Lady Grey when I sit down the write, I feel more energetic and just overall better.
This change in patterns made me realize that I do need to give myself more opportunities to write and edit, so since then I have explored writing at the coffee shop right down the street from my apartment (featured in the picture to the left), at the library on campus, and changing up the time of day in order to feel the most inspired. Even though it becomes more difficult, this has made my editing way more successful.
I wish I could always stop what I am doing to edit when I am feeling the most inspired, but of course, being an adult often gets in the way of that.
So for now, even though I am still struggling with making sure I complete my goals, I am proud of what I have done in the last few months. It has been really difficult, but I have accomplished so much!
Additionally, I am beginning to plan the next book I will write, even though I want to begin querying before I start writing. This book is a little different than True Power, but I think it will be so much fun to start this new journey with even more topics that I am excited to share with the world.
So even though this has been tough, I am thankful for sticky notes, undecided titles, and Lady Grey tea because they are the steps to my success, and if that is not a silver lining, I don’t know what is!