It’s been two years since my last blog post. Whoops!
It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop writing.
I think part of it was spending a lot of time getting to know my boyfriend (who is now my husband, so I guess that worked out okay). But I wasn’t comfortable writing about our relationship too much at the time since it was so new. Also—way to bury the lead here—he had a crazy ex-girlfriend who kept trying to contact him and me (with bad intentions). She would leave messages on my Facebook page at 3am saying that we “needed to talk”. We blocked her, but the stalkerish vibe of that situation left me feeling exposed and made me want to close in on myself and not share information about my life.
A little bit of it—and this is pretty silly, but true—my mom and aunt got mad at me because of a blog post that I JOKINGLY wrote about a recipe that we traditionally have at Thanksgiving . You can read that post here. I unintentionally hurt their feelings and that didn’t feel good. It was merely an attempt to make my brother and sister laugh that went awry.
And the other thing was that I had been laid off for the 947th time (with more glowing recommendation letters to add to the pile) and I was worried about sharing too much that a potential employer would see. Incidentally though, when I went in for an interview with my current employer, where I have now worked for a year, my future boss told me that he had read all of my blog posts and that he enjoyed them. I think it gave him some insight into my character, which made them feel comfortable hiring me. And since writing is part of the job, it didn’t hurt to have all of those examples. So sharing about my life actually helped me get the job. (It certainly wasn’t my web design skills that clinched the deal).
Due to all of the above reasons (excuses) I found myself writing what felt like surface-level stuff and then eventually I just couldn’t think of anything to write anymore. Total writer’s block.
Fast forward to this Thanksgiving on the way home from a family reunion in Tennessee.
I was reading a new Michael Connelly book that I had paid $35 for at the airport—$35!— because I like his books so much that I just had to have it, price be damned. My daughter asked what I was reading, I briefly explained the plot, and she said, “You love those murder stories.”
I don’t know why that simple observation triggered it, but a lightbulb exploded over my head. Yes! I DO love murder stories. This is what I could write! I spent the entire plane ride home (and then a month after that) coming up with an idea for a story and characters to put in it. I was so excited to finally have a writing idea again.
I’ve been working on my crime/suspense novel ever since. I’m writing for at least an hour a day and absorbing all of the writing advice books and courses that I can listen to on my commute. It feels like a part of me that had been sleeping has woken up. And though there are, of course, bits and pieces of my real life experiences informing the circumstances and characters of my book, writing fiction has relieved the pressure I felt about my ability to be honest in my real-life stories.
Anyway, it’s all down to Callie being the insightful little ball of light that she is. I’m eternally grateful to her for the innocent comment that kicked me into gear again. Out of the mouths of babes….