Every author will tell you that characters don’t always do what we had planned for them. And stories don’t always stick to the plot points in our outlines. (The nerve of them! Right?)
But that’s fiction. In real life, we can plan better. Prepare. Have each and every minute step mapped out in fine detail, and . . .
Dream on, fellow control freaks.
You don’t need to be an author to know none of that matters. No degree of obsessive organization will stop reality from crashing the party, making everything spin out of control and sending you down a different path.
Yep, I’ve been there . . . and I bet you have too.
It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of my debut novel release. The launch wasn’t perfect—as expected, I’d made some typical newbie mistakes. But I was figuring things out as I went along. And I was excited to be hard at work writing my second novel.
My dreams were coming true, and I was loving life. Ahhh . . .
**takes a deep breath to enjoy the moment**
Now, if life were a novel, this is the part where you’d expect a dubious plot twist. You know, that point where the author messes things up so the characters have to fight to find their “happily ever after.”
And you’d be right.
A few weeks after releasing my book, fate delivered the worst kind of plot twist—a family tragedy. (Read more on that here.)
As a result, so much of the past year has been a numb blur for me. Working a full-time day job, caring for my home and family, taking care of my brother and his house, and later handling his estate exhausted all of my time and energy—both physical and emotional.
There was no other option, I had to add another painful loss and put my writing career aside.
As much as I wish I could delete the past year and replace it with a better chapter, I can’t rewrite life. I can’t undo the events that took my brother or change the hand I’ve been dealt.
But I can revise parts of it—take what I have, learn, grow, make adjustments, and put my journey through life back on the path I’d envisioned—similar to revising an awful first draft. (And let’s face it . . . all first drafts are crap.)
I’ll admit getting back into the flow of writing has been far more difficult than I’d imagined it would be, and it’s quite a struggle at times. In many ways I feel like I’m starting over.
But . . . starting over is SO much better than giving up!
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and no matter how hard, I always try to find something positive in every situation. In this case, it’s allowed me to assess my priorities and decide what’s important to me, both as a person and an author.
At times I feel lost in this journey through life, but I’m stronger on the inside having weathered this storm. And I’m finding my way back to my chosen path.
My goals have shifted—along with my plans on how to achieve them—like I’m creating an exciting new version of my life: Awesome Author Career of CJ Andrews v.2.0
And, of course, that means I have some exciting new things in the works . . . which I’d really love to tell you about right now . . . BUT I can’t . . . not yet. Stick around! (Or, even better, click on that little follow button along the side so you don’t miss a thing.) ~CJ
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