2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. I don\’t know about you all, but I\’ve seen some of the darkest times this year. Don\’t get me wrong, I\’ve been in dark places before, but this year has thrown me down a dark hole, stomped on me, and then did it all again just as I managed to crawl and claw my way to the top.
Kingdom of Dust & Bone is done. Book three of this epic series is finished and off to my editor for a final pass. I should be celebrating, but instead I\’m just trying to find my footing and a moment to breathe.
I started writing this book in July 2020. I finished it on Sept. 9th, 2020. During that time I started out strong, feeling good, feeling like I\’d finally found my groove in the bleak 2020 landscape amidst the pandemic. I wrote like crazy, and by mid-August, I felt on track. Then I went on vacation. This was amazing, but it also had me doing a ton of thinking about my priorities and thinking about how I was handling life.
When we returned, things went south. I spiraled into an anxiety filled depression, then was hit with debilitating pain for a week, and then just as I was pulling myself up and out, the Oregon forest fires hit. The evacuation line was 5 miles from my house. I had friends evacuated. I had to go through my house and decide which parts of my life were worth saving if the fire got any closer. And I couldn\’t breathe.
When the smoke finally cleared, I found myself struggling to finish writing and editing the book with the deadline looming. I\’d already pushed the deadline once, and I just couldn\’t bring myself to do it again. So I buckled down and I burnt out like a birthday candle on a windy day.
My body was shutting down, falling apart. I could barely keep two thoughts in my head, let alone focus on editing. So I took a good hard look at myself and realized I needed to change things. Ever since my mindset has been much better.
Writing through a personal crisis is no easy thing. It took grit and determination. It took hours of procrastination and guilt, that I then realized was really me doing self care. It took me getting to my lowest point to start finally taking care of myself. Only when I\’m feeling good can I truly write my best.