I wanted to write, desperately. I stared at my computer for hours, but not a single word would come. Eventually, I stopped trying.
Did I care that I left one of my characters puking her guts out with no relief?
Of course, I cared. I love my characters, even the not-so-nice ones, but I couldn’t fix her problems until I fixed a few of my own.
So I worked on me, one tiny step at a time. It was abominably slow and excruciating at times, but each little victory made me feel stronger and more confident.
Eventually, I found words again. Some didn’t go anywhere, but every word I wrote restored another piece of my writer’s soul. I was still working on me, but having that part of myself back was like feeling the spring sunshine on my face after a long, cold winter.
As I began to share my new stories, people asked me what else I had written. The problem was, I had switched computers during my writerly pause and … gulp … I wasn’t sure I still had them.
I shed a few tears. I said a lot of prayers. And I methodically went through my current files and an old backup drive and found … zilch.
And then I found a CD labeled ‘misc. files’. I popped it in and there they were, Lizzie and all of her friends. I think I sobbed for at least an hour, then wept again as I reread them over the course of the next few days.
Back then I was not particularly vigilant about saving my work in multiple places, so the fact that I burned a CD and labeled was a miracle. I save everything now, multiple times, in multiple formats, in multiple places; I never want to feel that kind of sickening panic again!
So Lizzie returned to me. Her story gained new life with a major overhaul, and I knew that, eventually, she would find her way to paper.
The character left mid-puke finally got her story (with one of the most unexpected twists!), but you’ll have to wait a while for that one.
And their author?
I got my mojo and my muse back. I knew, without a doubt, that writing and publishing my stories was inevitable. Oh, it wasn’t and couldn’t be instantaneous; I had a crap-ton of work to do before I was ready (in many respects).
But guess what?
I’m ready now. So prepare to meet Lizzie! And while you’re waiting, be sure to check out my book trailer!