Last night, after writing over SIX THOUSAND words in one day, I did this:
Those two magical words made me weep with joy and relief. THAT PLACE CALLED HOME has been one of the hardest novels for me to write. I suffered massive bouts of self-doubt and apathy. I would fall in and out of love with the story hourly. I spent sometimes days and days doing anything but writing the damn story, because I was overthinking.
Also, this story was a journey for me in its basic bones; it was a chance to live a life I’ve daydreamed of off and of for years. The kind of life that I might have lived had my kids not came when they did, or if I had married later. That makes this novel personal, because I’m not just writing a tale, but I’m living it the same way as I hope readers will someday.
I put so much pressure on myself, which is stupid but it was there nonetheless. After I wrote A SILENCE SO LOUD earlier this year and fought with revisions until I realized I wasn’t in the right place to make that novel work, I plunged into a dark period, writing (and in some was, emotional) wise. It was hard to find the light to chase down a sliver of an idea in order to turn it into a story. Nothing felt good enough, nothing felt like it would be the one to catch an agent’s eye.
So, I read and focused on family time instead. And slowly, this book came to be more than a nugget of an idea. It’s still underdeveloped. The word count is much too low, but I have a list full of things to tackle during revisions to flesh out the characters and dive deeper into the story. I’m ready to dive back in…tomorrow. For today, I’m going to get lost in the pages of a book that someone else has written.