September… that weird in between time where summer breathes its last breath and autumn starts to stir. I used to hate September. September meant school, it meant endless hours trapped in a classroom surrounded by people I didn’t want to be with and learning things I had no interest in.
Now I love September. It’s a season where life feels like a fresh start again, where I naturally start to feel more productive, and where that crisp rush of wind makes me reach for my nearest comfy sweater.
This past month I did a lot. I reinvested myself in editing The Lowell Saga, my current work in progress, by tweaking some of the main characters, reworking the lore and history central to the story and overall improving upon it to make it the best it can be. I spent hours listening to writing podcasts and reading articles all about craft. Susan Dennard is amazing and if you don’t follow her newsletter, and you are a writer, I suggest you go do that right now! Her insight on writing and the publishing industry itself has been so helpful.
My mental health has also been a lot better this month compared to the summer where I had more than a few rough days. This month I listened to my body, ate nourishing foods like oatmeal in the morning, fulfilled by cravings by going out for ice cream on the last hot day of the year, spent time with my family and my friends and overall was nicer to myself.
I have a bad history of bullying myself into productivity even if I know I am not up to it mentally, emotionally or even physically. I used to think (and still sometimes do) that if I am not actively working towards a goal I am failing. This September though, I took a step back. I let myself rest on days I needed to rest. I worked for an hour some days instead of five. I found myself happier than I have been in months and more productive ironically by giving myself the space to work at my own pace instead of the rigid schedule I usually set for myself. I may not work the fastest but I am working and taking steps in the right direction. As long as I keep going I will get there… with writing The Lowell Saga (TLS), with finding the right job, with exercising, with eating mindfully, with finding time for my passions, and with carving some time to spend with my loved ones. I will get there, and if I continue on the path I am on, with a healthy mindset.
Sometimes you just have to have someone tell you that you are enough. What you can do is enough. As long as you keep going. If you need someone to tell you, dear readers, allow me. You. Are. Enough.
Just keep going forward and you will get where you need to go when you are meant to get there.
I am very pleased with myself if I am being honest. I made some small changes that will have major rippling effects in the plot of TLS. Small changes that I am extremely pleased with. Extremely. I want to share more but that would mean spoilers and when this book is finished I want my readers to experience it as fully as possible. There is no other feeling like reading a book for the first time.
And hopefully I will write something others want to read. But if not and I am the only one who wants to read it you know, that’s okay. I need to write this story for myself either way and if others would find pleasure in it one day then this story will exist for you too, whoever you are out there.
My mindset has shifted greatly. I have mentioned this before in other writing updates over the summer but now it is really starting to take effect. I have stopped writing with the intention that I have to make the perfect book so I can be a writer and have my dream job and make enough money to survive alone on writing. Thinking like that only served to cause me stress and it pushed my perfectionism into overdrive. That wasn’t healthy for me.
Instead I have shifted into thinking I have to finish this story for me, and me alone. And that has made all the difference. It does not pain me to work on my story anymore, and I don’t have to force myself into working on it. I want to work on TLS, and I find joy when I do work on it. I started writing all those years ago because it made me happy, and it served as a creative outlet for me to put my imagination out there in the world and make it a little more bearable. The world can be a terrible place sometimes, as every human knows, but it can also be quite wonderful too.
Right now, the world is quite wonderful. 🙂
As always till next time,
(Currently still revising the first draft of TLS…..)