I lost my love for writing. I remember sitting there, staring at a completed book. Horribly written mind you, although it was finished, in a matter of speaking. It had a beginning, an end, and some adventures squashed in the middle.
Writing has been the love of my life for a long time. Although sometimes I forget about it or treat it badly, I’ve always come back to writing. In 2015 I decided to participate in my very first NaNoWriMo. It was on the heels of the success of The Five Warriors, my first full-length novel. It had been well received, the reviews were honest and lovely, I was seeing consistent sales, and fans were wanting more.
I fished out the next book in the series, called A War, A Search, and Two Kingdoms. It depicted the events that took place in the Eastern World with a fun matchup of orphans. Using the power of NaNoWriMo I pounded out 50,000 words, re-writing the story to one of magical adventure those young and old could read and re-read.
Except the story wasn’t magical at all. It was disastrous. I found myself bored when writing it which is a dreadful sign. Going back to The Five Warriors, I’d pick it up and find myself lost in the magic, and I often wondered aloud: why can’t I write like this anymore?
Towards the end of NaNoWriMo, I found myself just wanting to finish A War, A Search, and Two Kingdoms. I started writing nondescript sentences like: They entered the forest. It was full of mystery. Sentences that needed to be embellished and loved to their full capacity. Yet something was broken inside me. I couldn’t write. I hated the book.
In the following months, I went on like everything was okay. I even made the book available for pre-order, believing the excitement from fans would encourage me to rise to greatness. It didn’t. In July of 2016, I found myself canceling the pre-order. I shut the book, allowing the depression of writer’s block to settle in. I was old. I wasn’t creative anymore. I couldn’t write like I could when I was young…that is…a teenager.
I let the woes of life drop in, focusing on travel, weddings, reading other books and growing my book marketing business. Every time I’d return to A War, A Search, and Two Kingdoms I found myself depressed, and eventually, I let that depression spiral into every aspect of my life. Everything went downhill…
Late in the fall of 2016, there was a voice. A phrase that chanted its way through my head. Over and over the lines repeated.
The forest will tell you the truth.
The trees will give you knowledge.
In exchange for one terrible price.
They will tell you all you wish to know.
The truth and why the world fades.
The end of the world is near.
There’s something you can do.
If only you can escape.
Beware. Be warned.
The price you pay is death.
I listened for a while until the creative life began to bleed back into me. I knew the words, the story I must tell, it wasn’t about a war, a search or two kingdoms. The story I needed to tell was The Blended Ones. I recall sitting down to write, the words dancing through my head, struggling to escape. It was December when I started the race, the race until the end. The words flowed without stopping and a new plot line emerged, one that would bring the story hurtling to its epic conclusion. I remember typing in a frenzy, chapter after chapter. Words rose before me like a storm, demanding to be released, frothing until they were told.
I was entranced, nothing happened but the writing, and I was trapped until I sat back and looked down. This was the story I was always meant to write.