An Update on My Writing Life

Hey guys! I know I don't usually post on Fridays, but I wanted to take a minute to update you on where I'm at in my writing since I've made a few big (and difficult) decisions over the past few months, and I've had yet to really share them publicly.


So.
I have officially decided to take a break from writing Unperfected. (Wow it totally broke my heart to write that)
Yes, I know this book is my baby. Yes, I know that I've poured my heart and soul into it for over four years--but that's just it. I've spent over four years on this project, and it's had crazy ups and downs. I went from attempting to get it published to sending it through a beta reader to switching it to two POV's to rewriting everything line by line to reworking the entire plot and world. It's a huge project that I love, the characters are all pieces of me, and the concept has evolved into something I believe can be incredibly great.
But it's not time to write this book.
It kills me to say that. It really does. It was a thought that occurred to me, but I shoved that thought away because no--Unperfected is my baby and there's no way I can put it aside. But the more I sat there, with all these ideas in my head but my fingertips just failing to type the words, the more I wondered if maybe it was true. Maybe it was time to make something new my main project.
So I turned to poetry.
Winter is a difficult time for me. I struggle with seasonal depression and motivation can be incredibly difficult to conjure (hence why there were no blog posts from November to January). I thought that maybe that was why I had no desire to write Unperfected, so I began using poetry as a therapy mechanism. It became my way of getting my emotions out. I wrote new poems and dug up some old poems and began to put them all together and titled it Seasons.
The book is split into four parts and dives into topics of heartbreak, overthinking, insecurity, self-searching, and change. It was an incredibly liberating book to write, and as I put everything together and reorganized and rewrote, I suddenly realized that I had an actual poetry book in front of me.
And then all of a sudden I had already put it through four drafts.
And then all of a sudden I typed the last line of the book, and something inside of me just clicked because I knew deep in my bones that this poetry book was done. And I mean done. I had never felt that feeling before.
Unperfected has never given me that feeling, because no draft I have ever written of it has felt complete. It always feels like it needs to be rewritten and rethought out and redone. But with Seasons, after four drafts it felt final. It felt done.
And so I began researching publishing houses. I started putting queries together. I pulled my favorites and arranged them into a sample.
And on February 5th, I sent my query and samples out to a publishing house I really love. Now I'm waiting. And it's hard.
It's been a really long time since I had to wait to hear back from a publishing house. And honestly, I'm struggling to believe I'll hear anything other than a rejection. Not because I don't believe in my poetry, but simply because rejection is all I've ever gotten. I was extremely hesitant to even send Seasons to publishers because of my fear of rejection. But, having "My Painting" published in Michigan's Best Emerging Poets--plus the incredible feedback I've gotten from those who have read it--was a big enough boost of confidence to push me to hit the send button.
After I hit send, I kept telling myself I was going to sit down and start working on Unperfected. But the day I was going to do that kept getting moved. And moved. And moved. And finally one day, I opened my laptop, pulled up Unperfected, and just kind of . . . sat there. I knew what I needed to do, but I didn't want to accept it. I didn't want to admit it and make it true.
So I texted my cousin/writing buddy. I sent her a super long message about how I felt like I needed to put Unperfected to the side for a while, and how much it hurt to even say that, and how afraid I was to start any new projects, and how much of an awful writer I felt like.
Because there I was, tweeting about writing, blogging about writing, talking about writing, but completely and totally failing to actually write my book. Failing to finish a project I have loved and worked on for so many years.
She talked it through with me, and she helped me admit to myself what I already knew: that it was not the right time to write Unperfected, and just because I'm putting it aside doesn't mean I'll never come back to it.
I knew I had two options: cry and mope about Unperfected, or start writing something new.
And so I began writing Awaken.
Awaken is different than anything I've ever written. The world is unlike anything I've ever created. The characters are diverse and different and refreshing, and the poetic lyric and metaphors and allusion woven into this story are more intricate than I ever thought I could write.
And yesterday, I wrote over 3,600 words in a few hours. That might not seem like a lot to some of you, but for me, it was more than I had written in a very long time. It was more than I had written all winter. It was an incredible feeling, and to be honest, I don't want to stop! Every moment I have I want to put towards writing this book because it feels so amazing to actually write something.
I love Unperfected. I don't think I could ever give up on writing it. But right now, I know that it is not the project I am supposed to work on. And as hard as it was to put it to the side, I'm very glad that I did.
So that's where I am in my writing life now. I'm about 10,000 words into Awaken and a month into waiting on a response for Seasons. I'm also compiling another poetry book called Numbers that deals with insecurity, weight loss, and self-image. I'll definitely be posting some more details about these projects later on.
But for now, I just want to thank all of my amazing followers for supporting me and my writing journey. To everyone who has every critiqued my work, left me inspirational comments, or simply just read my posts--thank you. You are the reason I do what I do, and I am so incredibly thankful for you. You are amazing!
I'm very excited to see where God takes me as I continue working on my writing endeavors. If you have any questions about me, my writing, or these new projects, feel free to message me or comment down below!
Also, if you would like to get an idea of what Awaken is about, you can check out the Pinterest board for it here.
Thanks again for reading, and I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Comments

  1. Ahhhh this post is amazing. So, my book that I have been working on for five years has definitely gone downhill in the last four months. I keep telling myself that maybe later it will get better (I can have up to four hours a night of homework, and I have a physical illness that can cause such bad brain fog at times). Reading this totally broke my heart because I have been following you for who knows how many years now (before you even started this blog), and have read every version of Unperfected that you have put up on Wattpad, followed your Pinterest boards, etc. However, your bravery is amazing! I don’t think it’s time for me to set aside my book, but this post definitely made me think about it (which was tough on its own). I hope Awaken works out perfectly and it is everything you could hope to write!!

    Emily Y.
    emilyywrites.wordpress.com

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    1. AWWW Emily! Thank you so much. I definitely don’t plan on giving up on Unperfected, I just know it’s not the right book for me to work on right now. As far as your book goes, you’ll definitely know if it’s time to put it aside. Trust your gut, and make sure to give yourself a break! All of that homework on top of an illness PLUS trying to write a book is a lot to juggle, and I think it’s amazing that you’re still working on it after five years. That’s seriously so awesome! If you don’t feel like it’s time to put it aside, then definitely don’t. Keep working on it, and you’ll make it everything you want it to be. I believe in you!
      Awaken is going really well so far. I have the entire book plotted out (which is really rare for me!) and I’m just about to work on chapter six. It’s so refreshing to work on something new!
      Thank you so, so much for supporting me for all these years. It means more than I could ever say in words!

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    2. ❤️❤️

      Emily Y.
      emilyywrites.wordpress.com

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