This is difficult to discuss. First, I want you to know I’ve finally figured out what was wrong with Bones and Lies Between Us (Copper #2), so the sequel to Pennies from Burger Heaven WILL be released later this fall. HALLELUJAH! Can you hear the angels singing?
This is more of a personal update. Physically, I’m great. I feel better than I have in years, so that’s HUGE (my hormones were out-of-whack, which made me feel awful, sleep terribly and look like the walking dead). But, emotionally …
I’ve been a hot mess.
It was the worst kind of bad, too, because everything was fine on the surface. Husband is good. Our two kids are thriving at college. The McKays are farrrrrrr from perfect, but overall, everyone is happy and healthy.
The problem was all me. Part of it was adjusting to being an empty-nester. I’ve never been a helicopter parent, but it was still HARD with our children gone.
Still, I kept chugging along. I wrote Copper #2 in the wee-early morning hours (5 – 7 am), but have been much busier with work this year. (I’m a life coach and help people get unstuck, personally or professionally). I know the goal is supposedly to write full-time, but my writing flows better when I’m fulfilled elsewhere (less pressure to create).
After work, I get dinner on the table, do chores, or enjoy reconnecting with my husband again after years of nothing but kids, kids, kids. We’ve hiked cool places, do yoga, binge-watched 67 episodes of Game of Thrones in 37 days to prepare for the final season. I should be ashamed of that fact, but I’m oddly proud of it. We just finished watching season 3 of Stranger Things (Never Ending Storrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy!). Talk to me if you get that joke.
My sequel was also causing me major problems, which made no sense. Pennies sells well, has 260+ reviews, with an overall rating of 4.6 (out of 5 stars). It’s been a dream come true. I work on that book everyday, but something was still wrong. People pay me to get unstuck from their lives, yet I couldn’t fix myself! That compounded the problem. In May, I finally figured out the underlying issue.
You Must Go Back, to Move Forward
Everyone else in my family had emotionally moved on from our house fire in August 2017. Except me. We were so lucky that the firemen were able to save over 90% of our belongings. We could’ve moved home again, but time and reflection showed us that we needed a change. We’d spent the past 10 months living out in the country, so we bought a house on 1.6 acres out in the middle of nowhere.
WE. LOVE. IT.
Still, I was home alone when the fire happened, so I knew I had the most PTSD. Even after dealing with that, I had more pain to unpack. Joy.
Seemingly unrelated, but totally connected, I discovered issues from childhood I thought I’d dealt with. Patterns that kept me stuck and playing small … in my marriage, at work, with my novels.
No, my parents didn’t lock me in the basement (which you might think after reading my fiction). They told me everyday they loved me. I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never known racism.
Nevertheless, there were hidden roadblocks. Mainly, the #1 message from my inner critic, It’s never good enough.
I’M never good enough.
I already understood that’s my loudest critical voice, but the fire REALLY triggered that since I failed to save our home. It’s not rational thinking, I know, but that was still part of my shame.
Now that I’ve figured out my problem, I have so much more compassion for myself. Plus, I’ve got my mojo back. My writing is flowing again. Best of all, I have JOY!
If you want, I’ll write more later how to figure out your own hidden roadblocks, though it may be the first quarter of 2020 before I get to it. Priority #1 is to finish Bones and Lies Between Us, then get it out to you, my readers.
I’m still alive, thank you. I appreciate your extreme patience.
What do you do about your inner critic? Please leave a comment.
Pick up your FREE copy today of the mystery, The Moon Rises at Dawn (SkipJack Publishing). Read, enjoy, repeat.