A year ago I began talking about my next book of poetry. Aaaaand then silence.
I can list out all the reasons why, most of which are centered around the relationship I was in and getting caught up in a new business venture that made my focus on my life-long craft something that I let go – which SHOULD have been a clear red flag, but I’m a slow learner at times.
I’ve been beating myself up mercilessly – L.D…you love to write! Why aren’t you writing? Why haven’t you finished this book? You have amazing cover art! What are you waiting for?
The short answer is I put myself last.
Behind the relationship.
Behind the business venture.
Behind the children.
Behind everything else.
I decided, perhaps not consciously, that I didn’t matter and the thing that had always been a core part of who and what I am didn’t matter.
Now THAT is tragic.
Because the fact is that I do matter. We all do. And the things that are most important to us, that define us, matter. They most certainly should matter to our loved ones, but first they have to matter to ourselves.
So for the last year and a half or so I have written very little. The few times I did write it was usually a poem written from a place of pain or a blog post written in anger. But my joyful writing, my most creative writing was absent.
I declared myself the worst procrastinator in the world. Told myself I was making excuses and should be ashamed – and I was.
Then a funny thing happened. Parts of my writing began to come true. Not my recent writing, but my old writing. Specifically from a novel I wrote some time ago, Experimental Lasagna (<-- not so subtle plug).
Now people who knew me when it was first published used to ask me A LOT how much of it was real. I referred to it as my factional novel – part fact, part fiction. Part based on my first adventures in dating, part based on dreams, part based on “what if…” scenarios. So naturally people wanted to know what was real, and I pretty much won’t answer that question.
But a few months ago, things I wrote about more than a decade ago – that were pure fiction when I wrote them – began to unfold in my life. At first it made me laugh. Then it made me raise an eyebrow. Then it was just straight spooky.
Was I psychic? If so, my predictions take their sweet time coming true! Or was the universe just messing with me? Hard to say.
But the actual effect that it had on me was to make me feel like I had to write. I needed to get back to my craft. I needed to rediscover this lost part of who and what I was.
Suddenly I found myself immersed in the flow of words across a page in a way that I hadn’t been in the longest time. And I loved it! I remembered how I enjoyed the pains in my hands after particularly intense sessions. I remembered the maniacal laughter when I’d play God with characters’ lives. I remembered the unbridled joy writing brings me.
Ever since, I haven’t stopped writing. So much so that I am nearing completion on the edits of the “new” (year old) book of poetry thank to my AMAZING assistant/task master B (Titled “Phoenix Rising”, release date to be announced soon, check out the amazing art for the cover), and have I believe enough material for another book of poetry. I also have almost completely written my next novel…in my head – really need a science minded person to figure out how to zap it from there to paper for me!
Here’s what I discovered in the process – I did procrastinate. I did lose myself in other things that took me away from myself. But the forces that operate in this crazy world of ours will not allow us to stray from our destined paths but for too long. They will find a way to draw us back to ourselves.
So if you’re feeling unsettled and unsure, that maybe you’re a little lost, take the time to look around and check – have you strayed? If so, try to find your way back to your own source of joy. You’ll be glad you did!