Thoughts & Things

My house is coming together. Check out my insta for some pics.

I’m overwhelmed with work. As in, my professional job where I spend my days. The spring is just saturated with events that require me to put on my extrovert mask– and which keep me from my manuscript.

I started work on the new (old) novel. Day one, I tried to write chapter one, and it did not go well. The beginning is so, so, so hard. So day two, I started with the first scene in the book where I feel the characters are already established, and it felt GREAT. So excited about all my characters and my ideas.

But I know the perfect novel in my head will not be the novel I end up writing. It’s not possible. I feel like this is something Plato understood. That said, a novel that is written trumps a novel never written. There is a way in which a novel that is written is more beautiful than the perfect novel, exactly because it is written.

My stress is leveling out. I think. I hope. I can breathe again. I’m telling myself to pace myself. If I work on stuff– even a little bit– each day, it will slowly come together. That’s how it works.

We had a snowstorm in Minnesota. We got about ten inches of snow where I live. And then we carried on with life. (Because here our infrastructure expects that (and is ready for even more), so the plows and the salt and the snow blowers and the weird little things that clear the sidewalks on my campus just come out and take care of business– fast– and then we all go back to work.) It makes me a little sad (the snow), but truth be told, the fact that it’s still light out when I leave work is making my heart SING. It’s this little promise that spring will come again. I treasure the light.

I still haven’t been reading. Even my therapist told me to make time for this. I will. I need to. It’s like I feel this vacancy where I know there should be inspiration. I just have to remember how to thread this into my life: audiobooks, no writing on Mondays, taking time before bed. I know these things. I just need to start acting on them. I will.

I need a vacation. Well, what I need is concentrated time set aside to write. Seven days in Duluth would be ideal. But it’s not in the budget, and I am PTO-poor, and I’m telling myself it’s okay and that I can wait a few months. Even though I have a draft due before then. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.

I purchased a keychain pill container. There were too many times I needed Ativan and it was sitting at home. NO MORE.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately about the OCD parts of my blog. They are the most popular part of my website, and it’s starting to bother me. I guess I find myself continually leaning into the author part of my identity, but my blog keeps forcing me into my advocacy identity, which, to be perfectly frank, I’m less interested in these days. Wait, no. That didn’t come out quite right. I’m still interested in advocacy; I’m just more interested in writing and literature and kind of want to just enjoy my remission. I feel a little guilty about it, but only a very, very, very little. That said, I’m not sure if I should separate my OCD posts from my website and repost them elsewhere. What do you guys think?

I want to hear from you. Please chime in so I know I’m not just talking to myself over here. Please.


6 thoughts on “Thoughts & Things

  1. Jackie. I feel your first chapter writing pain … in fact I’m trying to break through that same barrier today. I totally read your blog because of the writing/book lover hat you wear, but am really grateful to have learned so much about OCD and mental health activism on this blog – but think it’s up to you if you want to separate those identities on different blogs. Overall, I feel like blogging is becoming a little less popular in general (although that’s totally anecdotal) so it’s hard to keep writing when past posts are what’s getting all the traffic. But I think it’s still worthwhile!

    • First chapters are the bane of my existence. I’m so terrible with backstory and how much to use/not use, how much is too much, how to establish everything quickly but not too quickly, how to make someone’s personality come across but not in an overbearing way. It’s so overwhelming. I worked on a middle chapter last night and felt really, really good about starting there instead! I’d rather get off to a running start before trying to tackle the first chapters again!

  2. I am not an author nor do I suffer with OCD, but find all of your posts to be intriguing. I can’t speak for either of those populations so I write more to chime in and let you know that you are not talking to yourself. I do believe it must be beneficial to other authors to read about your struggles and victories with OCD and can only imagine that it has a positive impact on those suffering with OCD to see that it can be overcome and you can still have an incredibly successful life despite OCD. That must bring hope to everyone who reads your blog. You have great insight, Jackie. Go with your gut!

  3. I think you can totally transition into more author posts.
    I say you HAVE to go with what you like writing.
    If you are honest with your readers, they will respect your decisions.

    I also agree that blogging is not what it used to be,
    but I love your blog, and I know you enjoy doing it.
    I say take it in whatever direction you want, while being transparent about your choices.

  4. I think you should leave your old OCD posts up and available here while focusing your newer entries on your writing as you have been. Our focuses change, and that’s okay.

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