I am writing a novel. This is nothing new; I've been working on it for some time now. The fact that I am saying it though, sharing it, is raising some questions from the outer world. This is fine, even normal. To be fair, I have questions of my own.
In the past I knew have to give such answers, ones that were based on research and planning. Answers that were fully formed in a map pointing upwards, my ladder of success. I used to thrive on such planning. It is a relateable process whereas writing despite the fact that the odds are against you is not. I was once a phenomenal planner!
I liked seeing where I was going. It gave me a sense of control and imparted me with some breathing room. Each time someone asked, I simply showed them my map. "I am going here" I said. Smiles and sighs of relief abounded for my practical answer. I collected each and every one of them like stamps in a passport, my proof and assurance that in fact, I was on my way.
And then life happens. A shift occurs that changes your future plans. Sometimes the change doesn't come from the outside but from within and it leaves you to go off searching once again.
My children were the proverbial shift in my life. When I became a mother, I also made the choice to exit a career plan that had previously served me for over a decade. Things had changed or maybe I did. Either way, the plan had deteriorated over time. It left me feeling burnt out to the point that I knew I couldn't continue on that road anymore.
When my husband and I had made the choice to start a family, there was with that decision, a new plan in action. It was exciting and nerve-racking, exhausting and rewarding. Still for all the wonder of that time, there was something missing. I kept going back to the new plan, I was feeling lost - where was I? I found myself writing in notebooks to figure things out.