Five Hundred Steps Backward, One Step Forward

My “usual” seven and a half hours of sleep has dwindled as of late. Actually, I’m surprised I’m not suffering more ill effects.


I feel it like the thunder that rumbles in the distance as a storm rolls in. The ceiling is probably about to break.

I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing, I admit. Maybe it’s a consequence of my sleep deprivation, or maybe the result of exhausting my brain with academic endeavors and muddling through life. Likely it’s both.

Without going into fine detail, I’m a Junior in college and still lack a clear direction for what I want to do in life. They say part of going to college is “finding yourself”, but truly I thought I understood myself. I thought wrong. Last semester was rough, not because my classes were too hard (some were difficult) but because I put together a few more pieces of my identity. I guess that’s the best way to put it. In between all that, family with health issues, pressure to get a job, and pressure to figure everything out soon so I won’t be building up unnecessary student debt aren’t contributing to a positive outlook. I could gripe and complain here but it won’t be of any use. So now that I got that off my chest…

I wrote something today! Yes, slacker me sat down in the library quiet area, pulled out a piece of notebook paper and wrote a scene. Is it poorly written? Yes, but the point is: I wrote something. Well then, what magnificent thing did you write you ask? I wrote a scene that’s part of book three and happened way before any of the events of book one occur. It’s a memory, and a dreadfully sad one at that. (I always got knocked for having no remorse about bringing bad circumstances down on my characters. Some people have trouble letting anything happen to their beloved “paper people”; I don’t mind letting chaos break loose as long as in the end one tiny good thing comes from it.) I wrote a character’s death scene. This character was essentially my main character’s “soul mate”, and I let the antagonist get rid of this character because I needed to rip the rug from under my main character’s feet and give her a reason to act the way she does later. I know that sounds harsh, but this story isn’t any old picnic under sunny skies and rainbows. I’m just happy I wrote something. I’m not enthralled by it because my creativity has been squashed for so long that none of the writing process feels natural.

That makes me sad. It’s something that needs to change. I remember when writing was my go-to and the characters were like good friends. Writing was a pleasure. It gave me joy to breathe life into my characters. Now it seems like… my characters are just pretty words thrown on a page. That isn’t how it is supposed to be. I don’t want to abandon this project. It does seem like everything else is working against me though.

I hope I won’t give up on this. I hope someday I finish it. If nothing more for the sake of being able to say (for once in my life) I finished something.

2 thoughts on “Five Hundred Steps Backward, One Step Forward

  1. Be encouraged! The frustrations and doubts you are feeling simply mean–you are a WRITER! We all go through these same types of ups and downs–elation one moment, crushing doubt and defeat the next. The real world spins around us and fogs our imagination. But remember, God did not give you the desire and talent to write for nothing; He will see you through these rough days and give you victory through Him. (Romans 8:37) Also, your blog is a pleasure to read, and the entries alone are proof of your talent and way with words. And don’t worry–my teacher instincts tell me you won’t quit. You have a story that needs to be told, and you are the only one who can tell it. Take heart and keep going! Even if you only write blog entries for a while, that’s okay. You’re practicing your craft and one day, your desire to get back to your characters will reassert itself, and you’ll enjoy them anew.

    Glad we discovered each other here in cyberspace!


    • fastcat73 says:

      Thank you for the encouraging comment, Mrs. Stafford!

      I think I tend to get swamped in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Thank you for reminding me that my effort is not in vain and that I was not fashioned with a love for writing without cause! It is good that there are other writers out there. I’m not sure my blog warrants the compliment you’ve given, but it did make me smile. I will keep trying.
      God bless you for the kindness and encouragement you’ve offered!

      I look forward to the new posts on your blog!


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