Life in Flux

Image source

A while back, I announced on my social media pages that I had big news coming. It turns out, life had a few surprises for me as well.

It’s hard to call the surprises bad, but this period since completing my degree (I finished my bachelors in August) has been so far off from my plans and expectations that I’ve felt disoriented. Aside from my Facebook page, my social media posting has dropped way down. It’s been months since my last update here. My writing has been all for an ongoing, part-time freelance gig with my previous employer. The coverage I thought I was going to have for my kiddos to focus on beginning my novel didn’t pan out, so time has been just as scarce as ever. As I said, it hasn’t been bad though. What I intended to be the beginning of my author career has instead become a season to focus on healing.

I’ve been through a lot. More than most people know about. I’m sure that’s the case for everybody, to some degree. My life growing up was not as happy or healthy as it might have seemed. I have deep wounds that I’ve kept carefully locked away. I’ve dealt with some, but not with all. What hasn’t been dealt with festered to the point where I was reaching for anything to numb my inner pain and escape reality. I was hobbling along, trying to run with crutches. I was making it, but it was clumsy and inefficient. It was unsustainable.

Rather than begin my novel postgraduation, I began treatments to finally overcome my past traumas. I’m nearly halfway through something called neurofeedback and am already seeing a noticeable difference. My anxiety baseline has come way down. I’m less agitated and able to better focus, remain calm, and think things through. I expect only continued improvement.

Beyond neurofeedback, I will be moving into the next treatment that was recommended for me, which is a variation of EMDR. Where neurofeedback addresses things on a psychobiological level, EMDR is a process of unlocking doors our mind has shut on damaging experiences, working through them, and letting them go. Through this, we regain access to parts of our brain that we always should’ve been able to use. I’m confident that I’m on the right path with this combination of treatments, and that I’m becoming the best, strongest version of myself.

Why am I sharing this? Because I’ve been successful enough at life to accomplish major goals, but everything I’ve done has felt exponentially more difficult than it had to because I wasn’t operating at 100%. In fact, nowhere near it. I never knew what it could be like to not be constantly fighting inside. The older I get, the more I realize I’m not the only one.

You’re not alone. You never have been. You are cared about and deeply loved no matter what your brokenness tells you. It’s time to love yourself as well. Don’t be afraid to get help. I’m so glad I did. I’m so happy I am.

So, this is my life in flux right now. All my dreams remain, and all my goals will still be realized. I believe it. I am still making progress toward my debut novel, it’s just not at the rate I anticipated. I’ll not be discouraged, however. Every season has its purpose. I’m embracing this, and I know that everything that follows will be better for it.

More writing news is to come. Bear with me, stay tuned, and know that:

I love you. I love myself. Here’s to our mental health.


Writing Works – Tips on the Craft

Writing Works
by S.A. Battaglia

Image source

If you’re like me, you’ve had the goal of finishing a book “someday” for longer than you’d care to admit. While I believe the more you learn up-front, the smoother the process will be, it’s also true that writing a book is like having a child: the timing will never be perfect. Eventually, you just have to do it and learn what you don’t know along the way. The advantage you have with writing over child-rearing is this incredible thing called revision.

Revision is the editing phase that takes place after you’ve completed your first draft. The exception is if you feel so stuck that you want to workshop what you’ve got to move beyond it. Workshopping is an excellent solution for: you don’t know what you don’t know. Eventually you’ll learn to do what Stephen King does and commit to a writing pace that allows you to out-write your doubt.

OK, so Stephen King writes 2,000 words-a-day when he’s working on a novel—return-of-Jesus being his only exception. But guess what? Stephen King has enough money to make writing books his primary focus. Most of us can’t live like Kings yet. What we can do is figure out what’s realistic and commit to it.

Consistency is key. Whether it’s 1,000 words-a-day (what King recommends starting at), 500 words-a-day, or 250 words-a-day, find what you can do and do it. Writing every day is like working a muscle. You don’t want to jump in too hard and burnout (or pull something). Do that and you won’t stand the thought of getting back to it for so long that your story—your characters—will rust.

Start somewhere. Start today. Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect, because they never will be. But, if you see if you see it through, you just might find that conditions improve. Then even more focus can be devoted to book #2!

Pace yourself and build your word goal up over time. Eventually, the occasional TV show might not be as exciting as hitting that target for the day (that’s where I’m at. It took a while). Once you get going, don’t look back. Looking back is what the editing phase is about. Until then, let go and let it flow.

Happy writing! Cheers.

Be sure to subscribe for more writing tips!

*All information regarding Stephen King’s writing is from his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, which I highly recommend.

No Working Title by Dr. John A. King

For sexual abuse/sexual assault awareness month, I got a chance to read No Working Title: A Life in Progress by Dr. John A. King and was deeply moved by his story. It reminded me of my own. I was abused. I have friends and family who were abused. I think of their stories, and all the ones living that nightmare right now. In his poem Childhood, Dr. John A. King says:


Violently shattered

Shards of innocence scattered

Ripples on a pond

Never to return

As accurate as that is, know that there’s hope in, through, and on the other side of abuse. There’s purpose for the broken pieces, they can be put to good use. To those who are still in it, to those who are struggling because of it, as isolating as it might feel, hear me when I say you’re not alone. ‘Cause you’re not alone.