Hard things and good days

foggybayThis poor blog has been neglected this year. But 2015 hasn’t been kind to this writer. Last year this time, I was celebrating. I had just sold my debut novel. I was staring in wonder and bliss at my deal announcement in Publisher’s Weekly. I was gearing up for my first phone chat with my editor. “My” editor. The sound of that is just lovely. I was ecstatic. Jubilant. All the words there are for happiness. The remembering is painful, because I sold to Egmont USA, and anyone who’s involved with publishing teen fiction knows they closed down early 2015. Contract void. No book, no debut. Sorry about all those dreams come true; have fun back at square one!
“You’ll see: This will all work out for the best.”

I heard this A. Lot. I didn’t believe it, of course, and for months, I sulked. I retreated into a dark mind-place, partly to avoid to un-tell everyone about my book deal. Partly because I believed I had failed, personally. That somehow this was my fault. I’d done this to myself. Hadn’t been grateful enough. Hadn’t been worthy. The universe was letting me know that I would never succeed, no matter the work, sacrifice, dedication.

I did things, but no writing. I made soap. Yes, soap. From scratch with lye and goggles and rubber gloves. I brewed kombucha, took long walks, started yoga again. Eventually, I started writing again. Eventually, it got easier and I came to consider that maybe it would work out for the best. Or at least, not for the worst. Maybe the universe wasn’t punishing me, it was simply unfolding as it should (thank you, Desiderata). I would not go back and change one thing. I would not give back my doomed book deal to spare myself the pain of losing it because then I would also be giving back the joy of getting it, and I’m not stupid enough to give back any bit of joy.