I’m still working on an out of order edit for book one. I just edited Chapters 18 & 23. I went through each chapter twice. Both had a handful of changes that I made. Nothing wild and crazy. The wild and crazy edits are over. I completed those months ago. (Thank God!)
But after two hours of staring at my computer screen, I have headache. That, and it’s late and I’m tired. Also, chapter 23 is one of the more emotionally draining chapters. 22, 23, & 24, actually. So, that didn’t help either.
A lot of people may not realize that as writers, a lot of the time, most of us, really pour ourselves into what we do. Tough stuff hits hard. We feel as we write, and that’s rough.
For instance, my second book. Writing that was incredibly emotionally draining some days. Bits and pieces of Charley’s story are torn straight from the fabric of my own life. I lived it. I understand it in a way that makes it twice as painful than if I’d never known personally what the journey is like. — I won’t spoil that, because I don’t want to spoil her story before people get to read about it someday, but there are moments in it, where I felt the punch that was packed, because I’d been there, done that. I knew the struggle intimately. And there’s no way to write it without part of me bleeding onto those pages.
Anna’s story was hard, too. In different ways. It’s titled Forgiving Anna, not so much because someone else has to forgive her, but because she has to come to terms with forgiving herself. And if you’ve ever been there, I don’t have to tell you how painful it is to forgive yourself for making mistakes that have devastating consequences. It’s one of the hardest things to do. I know what that’s like. I know what it feels like. And that gets poured straight onto those pages as they’re written. And then cultivated as they’re edited.
I’m also the type of person who feels everything. I break down sobbing listening to songs, watching tv shows, reading sad or heartfelt stories. I feel it all, and those feelings end up on the pages.
It gets a little less draining with each edit, but stuff still packs a punch, even then.
That’s not to say I write sad books. I don’t. They’re romance novels slap full of love, witty banter, sexual tension, and even a laugh here or there. But my whole purpose is to write real, relatable characters. And real life is messy. Full of tough, dark moments. But what I love about life, is that no matter how dark, there is light in that darkness. There is happiness to be found. Love wins, it conquers all. And things may get ugly sometimes, painful and sad. We live through things that mess us up and get in our way, break us and tear us down, but we get back up, and we keep on going. We find love, we find happiness, and we find joy again. It doesn’t beat us. And those are the stories that I choose to tell.
My characters, they’re like us. Their stories are like ours. They make mistakes. They get hurt. They deal with loss. Some of them are bitter and angry. Some of them are afraid. Some of them have lost people they loved. Some are addicts. Some don’t have loving families. Some have come face to face with sexual assault or domestic abuse. Some have been in prison. Some have been to war. Some just have messed up families. Some are completely alone, on their own. Others have felt the sting of rejection, what it’s like to never be good enough, to never live up to the expectations their loved ones have of them. — They’re like us.
But just like us, they find happiness. They have hope. They find love. They laugh, and they smile, and they live.
And those are the stories that I tell. That is the point that I make. That even in the dark, or after it, there is light, because there is love. And yeah, it’s in romance form here, but these people have friends and family, too. There is a whole lot of love and whole lot of beating the odds in my books, and that’s because I think it’s so incredibly important to remind people… there is light in the darkness. There are good times after the bad. Hold on. You will love again. You will laugh again. You will know happiness again.
So when I write these books, I have to feel all these things. Process them and wade into the deep end. But it’s worth it.
It’s so worth it.
Anyway, I’m going to call it a night. Hope you all have a fantastic day!