With Effort…

Hi friends.

Did you miss me?

I sure missed you. I haven’t written one blog post during my summer break. It feels weird but it was intentional for several reasons. However, the main reason was due to the fact that there was something that I’ve been needing to do but have been putting off.

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You see, I’ve had this project burning in the back of my head, a book that I’ve wanted to write for over 6 years. It was something that scared the crap out of me because…

1.) With effort comes the possibility of failure.

2.) Some of the content required me to dig deep and address the insecurities I had growing up in order to make my character authentic.

I knew that if I got into the swing of writing blog posts again, I would justify not finishing the book because I was writing something else. The blog has been my excuse for a few years now. For some reason this summer I knew that I couldn’t use the blog as a crutch anymore. In order to be happy I needed to fulfill a promise I made to myself. I needed to finish this book.

So I created a routine that allowed me the creative time that I needed to finish my project but also the down time I needed to enjoy with my family. My daily routine mainly consisted of a variation of the same thing. Waking up early enough to watch the sun rise, drinking my first round of iced coffee and soaking in the moment the world seems to come to life again…

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Then I would go to the gym and listen to music that matched the tone of my story and imagine all of the adventures my characters would have that day when I had the time to write it all down.

After the gym we always went on some sort of random adventure. Sometimes it was just Penelope and I since Bridget was working at a summer camp and Brent was busy checking things off of his list for Paramedic School. And then sometimes we all got to do things together.

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No two days were exactly the same. Usually after our daily adventure, and after I was assured that Penelope had been thoroughly worn out, I would either put her down for a nap or let her watch a movie and rest. While she was preoccupied, I would take the time to sit outside in the shade of my back deck, drink round 2 of some home made iced coffee and write.

And that is where I proceeded to write, and write, and write.

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I wrote more than I ever felt possible and the process didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. I started the summer with 40 pages already complete and by the time I was done I had completed over 300 pages. The completion snuck up on me and when I was done I was in awe of myself.

I actually did it!

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I couldn’t be more satisfied with myself. This was probably one of my greatest accomplishments. Not because writing a book is hard (which, sometimes it is), but because I was so scared to do it. Once I committed to finishing it the process was surprisingly easy. The book just seemed to write itself. The characters just kind of took over and took the book into a direction I never could have planned out in advance. It was like they had been waiting all this time for their story to be told.

Now with that under my belt, I can get back to you… or me. Because when I write this blog I’m addressing you, but mostly I’m addressing me.

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted on this blog. Some of you may have noticed that sometime during last summer I started to disconnect. At one point I was writing a post a week and on a roll. Then suddenly there was a drastic decline. This stems partially from my leg injury and subsequent surgery/recovery, but some of it was due to other personal issues I was having.

Now we all know that sharing personal issues isn’t really a problem for me. (Butthole Problems, Get Your Toes Off My Nipple, The Sun and the Moon) I tend to find freedom in discussing things that I’m struggling with. However, I draw the line when other people are involved.

I really struggled with writing around these issues because for me writing is about sharing the truth. So I ended up not writing as much because I couldn’t be completely honest with you… and ultimately with myself.

Last year was rough. I was physically maimed, not able to even bathe myself or walk and I was battered and floundering mentally and emotionally as well.

Due to the nature of my injury and the severity of the surgery (leg sawed into, bone moved and leg screwed back together) and subsequent recovery I couldn’t really invest any energy to the other things I was struggling with.

So that’s what I did during the summer. I took care of myself (both mentally and physically) and it ended up being the best summer I’ve had since I’ve started my teaching career. I set some goals based on who I wanted to be. I created a routine that was both productive and fulfilling. And through it all I found that elusive balance that I’m always looking for, even if it was only for a fleeting moment.

Now that school has started I have to create new goals, a new routine and a new type of balance. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I’m getting there.

And so goes the theme of my life…