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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Struggles and Challenges

I've been avoiding writing this blog post for months now, mainly because I don't want to sound whiny or ungrateful. But last night as I was falling asleep I realized I needed to share this. The whole point of starting this blogs over 3 (yes, that is correct, THREE years) ago was to share my experience and journey in pursuing the dream of becoming a published author.

Through the last 3 years, I've had my struggles and challenges, but none of them compare to what I'm going through now. If you recall in my last post, writing has taking the biggest hit since I became a mom. I didn't elaborate too much, but today is confession time.

My brain has completely left for vacation. What little brain cells I've left, I dedicate to my day job (it pays for daughter's school, new car, bills, and food on the table) and being somewhat present for my family. It's been a year now since I haven't slept a full 8 hours uninterrupted (the last three months of my pregnancy I got up at least 5 times a night to pee). After months of sleep deprivation depression sets in. I've been battling postpartum depression off and on since January. It's been survival every day for last 9 months and a human being can only live so long in that state before shutting down.

Lucky for me and my family I got help before it was too late, but motherhood has taken it's toll at a hefty price. I cannot focus for the life of me long enough to finish a story. When I lay at night thinking of what to write next, I get really good ideas and sometimes I actually get up and type them out so I don't forget, but that's where it ends. There seems to be zero energy or motivation for me to expand, develop, layer these nuggets of inspiration, let alone edit, revise, and fix the novels I have already completed.

When I have a moment, like right now, to work on a project, I either sit and stare at a blank document for five minutes before getting onto Facebook and blowing through all 5 lives on Candy Crush or  sit on my recliner and watch TV while drinking wine and stuffing my face with chocolate. Then I spend the next day when my daughter comes home from my folks' place feeling guilty for wasting a perfect opportunity to write.

To make matters worse, I haven't attended a RCRW meeting since April or even joined my writer friends for a meetup. I miss being around them so much. Every month I see their posts on Facebook or Twitter recapping the awesome meeting of that particular month and I try not to cry. I so wish I could be there and learn from these fantastic authors and writers who inspire me so much. But the monthly meeting falls on the Saturdays that hubby has to work and I don't have a sitter. 

*sigh*

What happened? I ask myself everyday. I used to love writing. I mean, I wrote my first novel while working full-time, going to school full-time, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and running a part-time business. Why can't I balance motherhood, day job, and writing now? Why do I feel so lazy and unmotivated? Grrrrrrrr!

It will get better, I tell myself. It has too. I really want to be a published author. Especially in the Romance genre. I want to go to RT and sign books. I want to write stories that inspire, bring hope, and ignite passion in the reader's heart. I don't want fame, although I wouldn't object to fortune, but that's really not on the top of my priority list.

So there you have it. The raw, unattractive, revolting truth. No more secrets. It's out there in the open for the world to read and judge. Just don't throw any eggs or rotten tomatoes at me, please.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vampires & babies

Hi,
It's me, Melania. Remember me? The girl that used to review books, blog about writing, and give away stuff. Yeah, it's really me still. Sort of.

This last year has turned my life upside down, side ways, and back down again. Having a baby will do that to ya. I expected things to be very different. You know, like bye-bye social life, going to the movies, happy hour after work, shopping trips, weekend getaways with hubby, and that sort of stuff. I knew my writing would change and I wouldn't have as much time like I used. But boy was I in for a surprise.

As far as social life, I didn't really have a riveting one to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I have AWESOME friends. And I still do stuff with them, it's just different now. I'll come over to a party, but instead of staying until 2 in the morning after 3 or 4 drinks, we leave at 9 after a 1/2 glass of wine.

Movies-nah. With the cost of theaters these days, I'm really not missing them. Amazon Prime, is where I get my movie fix. Although I'm going to make an effort to go see the new Thor movie and Catching Fire and Hobbit 2 on the big screen. 

Happy hour- nope. That one went away, not because I have to rush home to the baby, but more because I'm so exhausted I can't wait to come home and get baby in bed so I can join her in la-la land.

Shopping-oh no, that one hasn't changed. I now have a little shopping buddy which makes it even more delightful. Her favorite color is pink. Makes buying things easy.

Weekend getaways with hubby- we're still working on that one. Shouldn't be long. As I type this I'm home alone because my folks have taken little angel home with them for the 2nd night now in a week. Unfortunately hubby is at work, but I'm already planning with my mother when it would be okay for her to stay an entire weekend.

Which brings me to the fact I'm alone and actually blogging. *insert gasp* One of the biggest changes in my life since little angel arrived is my writing. It took a ginormous hit. And I didn't understand why or what it was until recently.

Normally when I'm writing or working on a story, I pretty much live and breath every detail the entire time. Sure when I'm at day job, I take a break and focus on that, but the rest of my free brain time I devote to the story. I dream about my characters at night and think about them first thing when I wake up.

Well, when I got pregnant last year, that changed. My focus was off. I could only write about 1000 words on a good day. When the baby arrived I didn't type a damn thing except for my birth story (which eventually turned into another blog) and an occasional poem or short baby story I could make up while trying to put her to sleep.

I tried to work on editing my vampire novel, but I just couldn't get into it. I didn't seem to have the brain capacity to even think about how I should fix the problems or make it better. Baby, baby, baby, and an random vampire were pretty much on my mind.

Then I realized what was happening. Vampires live at night. Vampires suck the life out of you. They charm you with heir magic and lure you deeper into their realm. Pretty soon it's they are all you can think about.

Hmm. Sounds suspiciously like my little angel. Keeps me up all hours of the night, breastfeeds like a fiend, charmer, and she's always on my mind. Damn.

Halloween 2013