I’ve been working on this new novel forever and I’m proud to say that during quarantine I have finished it. I spent the last three weeks having the text-to-speech lady read it back to me so I could make my edits. She was snarky and rude to me, not unlike the GPS lady who practically rolls her eyes when she has to tell you to turn around after you’ve passed the exit.
The subject matter is deep and I had a really hard time getting through it. It’s about the challenges of having a special needs child, the strain it puts on a marriage, alcoholism, the “never agains”, the rollercoaster, the divorce, all of it. Writing the story as fiction (similar to my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s story) has allowed me a barrier to share on a deeper level than I had intended and to be honest has taken its toll on me. I’m sure quarantine and distance learning didn’t help with the raw emotions of it all. There were blocks of days when I just could not stop crying and to my credit my children never noticed.
I had to keep the faith that so many others are going through the same emotions right now and that sharing all of it will help someone else going through the same thing. So I kept going. I always do.
I finished the last page of edits last night and it was the first night in many months that I slept the whole night through. But there was something about the ending that I still needed to figure out.
When I woke up this morning it was clear. And after a slight revision, I had that feeling. That feeling that Joan Wilder had in Romancing the Stone when she typed “The End” and was crying and there were tissues everywhere. Yeah, that feeling. Proud. Nervous. But mostly excited.
I’m preparing it now for my editor who has been anxiously awaiting its completion, encouraging me and being more than understanding; wondering how I’ve been able to stick to it with the kids home. That of course goes back to an old post where I explain how to write when life gets in the way. And that is to write in ten minute increments, five minute increments, and a break everything down into small chunks. Writing is thinking also so when you are emptying the dishwasher, that’s writing!
I hope that my story encourages you to write YOUR story and know that you are not alone in these weird and lonely times. We will all get through this. Somehow. XO.
Michelle Spray on socials @SprayBooksEtc
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