The last year has been a difficult one for me in so many ways. I think of Queen Elizabeth's Christmas message in 1992 where she spoke of her Annus Horribilis, and that pretty much covers much of 2010 for me sans the castle fire. On top of the many challenges thrown at me, I seemed to have lost my way as a writer, too -- not good when your writing isn't merely a hobby, but a major source of income for the household and a source of inspiration for other writers.
I did make some positive changes last year. I "retired" from the Renegade Writer blog, allowing my co-author Linda to take full control of the content and upkeep. I simply didn't have anything meaningful to say about the writing life, given that my own writing life teetered on three legs. How hypocritical, I thought, to tell others how to buckle down and get to work when I piddled away most days staring at my keyboard. I also began to knit again as a way to help me cope with my anxiety; knitting is one of those activities that both demands my attention (counting stitches, keeping track of patterns) and allows my thoughts a short leash. In the end, I get a sweater for my son, a pair of socks for myself, a gift of fingerless gloves for a close friend. At least I can create something from my anxiety and worry, and as a bonus, feel a sense of accomplishment, which I've come to discover has been key in helping me rediscover my "mojo."
Yesterday I had something of a breakthrough. It was as if I turned down the right path and the universe started sending me all kinds of signals and messages that yes, this was the right turn to make. I had pulled out an old manuscript for a novel I'd started several years ago. As I started reading through it, this frisson of excitement traveled down my spine. It was good ... quite good! I ended up spending several hours making notes and rewriting some passages, then closed the document up late at night, feeling as if ... I don't know ... there was a new possibility for me here. (Good news, my friends -- the novel is an Anglophile's dream.) When I'd discussed the novel idea with my agent, she was pretty excited about it and recalling her enthusiasm spurred on my own enthusiasm.
Then I went through my e-mail, where I found two e-mails from friends whose messages mirrored the same feelings I'd had as I read over my manuscript. On top of this, I also received a phone call from a co-author and we decided to make some changes together that really have me reinvigorated about my non-fiction writing. Although I was feeling pretty good and decidedly non-anxious, I ended up sitting up till 1 a.m. to finish my Tangerine Marmalade socks, which I wearing right now. They're my new lucky socks! (I'll post pictures later on today of these miracle socks.)
I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in a long while. For the first time in months, I couldn't wait to get home to my computer after dropping my son off at school to write (er, that's write after I blogged!). Then I realized it's the first day of March and in three short weeks, it'll be the official start to spring. On top of all this, I checked my e-mail and found out that I won two knitting patterns in last week's Yarn on the House giveaway. Yippee!
It's a new day, and watch out world -- I'm on fire!