Hey you guys,
As I feel like I'm always writing on here and in my emails to you, it feels like it's been so long since I last properly shared about what's going on in this writerly journey of mine. But maybe that's a good thing, as it seems like each time I pop back on there's lots to tell you guys.
So, here we go. On the writing front, The Play House is still in progress. But I've finally sorted out a day in which I think I'll be done editing — that's end of February. From that point on though, the book won't necessarily be available. I don't like writing that, as I feel like you guys who've been through this whole process with me have been made to wait for so long already, but the thing is, you guys also know that I'm torn between self-publishing and traditionally publishing. And so, as to not rule out traditional publishing, more than likely, I'll be weighing my options come March, and talking a lot with friends in both camps. I'll likely also send my manuscript for another copy edit, and workshop it one last time with an agent, too. Still, we're getting there, day by day, page by page.
On the personal front, I've taken a big step and moved out of my parents' place. That's very affirming for me because, to be honest, I worried I wouldn't get to a place where I was this financially independent without having to step back on the traditional, 9-5, work-from-an-office path. So, it's really nice to see that everything I've believed since setting foot onto this strange, foggy artist's path—that you will find your way, that it will just take time—is actually true. And not just for the unicorns of this universe, but for me (and you!) too. In terms of how that happened, well, it's not by magic. In the name of transparency, I made the decision to pick up more work. It sounds so, duh, easy, but for the past two years I couldn't imagine doing this. I truly didn't feel like I could give the time to anything other than The Play House. Maybe that's true. Maybe I needed that time to lay the foundation, to write the first five drafts, to really build this whole world. Or maybe, emotionally, I needed that time alone after an entire lifetime of operating on pre-created schedules.
In any case, since finishing the latest (almost the last but not quite) draft, I'm in a different place. I am still carving out a good few hours each day for the novel, but I'm giving a lot of myself, my energy, my passion, to companies that I'm working with — as a writer, an editor, and a social media worker. And, really, it feels good.
The main thing, and perhaps the more important/interesting thing, is, throughout this, I feel like I'm grounding myself a bit more. While I love to travel and be spontaneous, and will forever be someone who values independence across all facets of her life, I am also really growing to like a sense of stability. I'm liking knowing which city I'll be in next month, and which people I will see this week, and the next, too.
I've had a few conversations with insightful friends in the past year that are coming to mind now as possible catalysts for this growth/grounding. One asked me, when I was living in London, if it was possible that I was running away from my "real life" in Toronto? He asked if, just maybe, I was hiding from something. Another told me about when she was younger and would leave the city when she wanted to escape, often going to Europe for long stretches.
Now, I don't necessarily think I was running away from my life, or trying to escape it. But I realized, in talking with these two that I was trying to find my path—the right one, the one that felt authentically my own. And I felt that I had to leave my own city to do it. It felt necessary to leave the place where I identified for so long as one type of person, in order to shed that faux-skin and become my actual self. That wasn't the big shock (I've written about all that before). What was, what I also realized in talking with these friends, was that I'd done it. I'd become my true self in the past two years. In other words? I didn't need to keep going away to keep her intact.
To anyone who's been through any evolution, any metamorphosis, you probably know what I'm talking about. There comes a point where you're not done growing, or figuring out who you are—that never ends—but there's been a sizeable shift, and you're now sitting on the other side; there's a very definitive you pre-shift, just as there's a very clear you post-shift.
And so, now, and maybe this is clichéd, but after all that travel, I've found myself sitting in the exact same place I was before. I mean, I'm literally sitting in the exact condo I had my quarter-life crisis in, the one that saw me on the floor, crying and unhappy, knowing something had to give and this (my life then) couldn't be it. Only, now, I'm emotionally somewhere else, somewhere so much brighter and healthier, and the truth is that's actually less because of the places I travelled to in the outside world as it is because of the places I travelled to inside of myself.
PS. I have a number of very tactical tools that I used to facilitate this self-exploration, and I've just written about them for WILD WMN Journal. I'll keep you angels in the know when it's live :)
PPS. As always, I'm curious about you, too! So, let me know how you're doing on your path by shooting me an email here.