Let’s be honest.
When I wrote about how Less Is Okay, I was not intending to take a break from blogging for eight months. But then again, I wasn’t planning on ending my relationship of sixteen years a few weeks later, either. However, it became unflinchingly apparent that needed to happen. As did, it seems, a break from many things.
Life was the hardest I’ve know it. Things haven’t been easy for many years, so for them to hit the fan on the scale they did was quite something. I genuinely felt broken. Not only because I was barely functioning on a day to day level, but because I couldn’t seem to achieve anything of value when it came to my writing life. And despite the assurances I gave myself eight months ago that self-care was worthy of being on my to-do list – so to ease off on the pressure – I was not writing. Let alone producing work worth sharing. It was something else for me to grieve.
I am not saying this for sympathy. I get plenty of that from my wonderfully supportive friends and family. I’m saying this for myself. This is my declaration of empowerment. I have gone through things I would not wish on anyone, and I am still standing. Bruised AF, and maybe a little bit broken. But here. Able to acknowledge this aloud.
When I realistically look at how your emotional state affects your creative output I have to admit that even completing the one or two short pieces that I’ve done in the past months is sufficient. And while I’ve got a long way to go – I’m still waiting on that tardy nursemaid, Time – I’m ready to start writing again, properly, with purpose and conviction. I’m not promising miracles. But I’m managing progress.
And while I’m blogging, I should fill you in on some of the other changes in my life. I have changed jobs. I am now Children’s Bookseller Extraordinaire at The Little Bookroom (yes, I gave myself that title). It’s a wonderful shop that inspires me on so many levels and keeps me busy on so many more. Leesa, the owner, is a God-Queen among mortals. I feel like I’ve found my home.
Also, I’ve stepped down from my role as #LoveOzYA committee chair. It was an amazing two years which I was able to offer my time and enthusiasm to such a warm and supportive community. I’ve met amazing people and had some amazing opportunities. So, knowing that I was leaving it in the hands of a very capable committee and ever-growing family of readers eased that transition. You better believe I’ll still be attending book launches and celebrating victories with you all! And talking about books! Always talking about books! Especially at YA’ll For Brunch?! If you’re in Melbourne and you want to join us, you’re very welcome.
All in all, I’ve reshaped my life. Not entirely. I promise I am still me, even if I don’t recognise myself at times. But I’m still the book-obsessed nerd you know and love (I’m assuming, right? Who couldn’t love such a dag!). I’m just a bit better than I once was. Michael 2.0, or something. We’ll workshop the title.
It takes so much courage to get through changes, whether they're decisions made by you or for you. Look after yourself – writing will always be there (as will all of us) xxx
Michael 2.0 is awesome