Though I Walk thru the Valley

I am back. I have to admit how sad it is that it has taken me this long to come back. I have no excuses really. And, just like a sinner who only talks to God in times of strife, I am back to recount the past few months.

I had found a job. It was wonderful. I carpooled to work every day with a close friend. We had lunch together. I was getting to know people and learning the ropes. It was challenging, it was all new, and it was glorious. Hell, on top of all that, it even paid well. A week before Labor Day weekend, I sat down to lunch with my boss and we talked about my prospects to continue. My contract was going to be renewed. I had the prospect of a full time gig. I had options.

 

Three weeks later I was fired.

 

Excuse me, as I was corrected at the time, my contract was terminated. Fucking semantics.

The reason? The purpose? My writing. No, the irony is not lost on me. And, in the truth of the anonymity, my first draft was bad. It was an attempt at a tone and a topic I shouldn’t have tried. But I was given a chance to rewrite it. I did with every bit of my craft behind me. I even recruited beta readers and critiques to understand where I had gone so horribly wrong the first time. And it hurt, but I went through it all and examined my mistakes and honed my words.

It didn’t matter. After reading through the entire second draft, my boss looks me in the eyes and tells me it’s still horrible. My world shattered, exploding apart like fine crystal in slow motion frames. In the span of 24 hrs, I lost my wonderful job, the time with my friend, and the paycheck that was allowing my husband and I to make progress on our debt. I was damaged goods and the company wasn’t going to keep me if it felt like I couldn’t perform.

So three months before the holidays, I am jobless and searching for meaning. But then, most people are one or the other, if not both. 

My writing…sits. The 76,000+ words of progress I had made on my first, rough draft of my NanoWrimo novel lays unedited. A unknown ground that lays fallow as the farmer has lost the will to deal with the seasons. I can’t even give it a proper title. Ceara’s story is still that “NanoWrimo” work. November itself looms monstrous in my mind. Whereas up to my termination, I was looking forward to triumph again, to continue this novel, and to learn who Nathaniel is and what he means to Ceara. Instead, I dread the 30 days of writing for the joy of writing, because I am too afraid to lock my inner editor away again. I doubt my abilities and the editor keeps me safe.

It’s such a simple thing to doubt, but it grows like kudzu in the heat of a Georgia summer. 

And the hardest part is that to get better I know I need critiques. I need to continue to write, but its something that I hold so dear to myself that it is hard to hold it out for the world to bludgeon. I don’t try to pretend that I am perfect, that I am some artist. I am just a singular soul who can’t NOT write. I only want to tell a story and being told time and time again how wrong the semantics are wear away my foundation to believe I have a worthy story to tell. 

A new job search it is then. Maybe somewhere along the rocky way I will stumble across the sage who knows the words to restore my faith to write again. Ceara deserves that kind of faith.