not all those who wander are lost…

Hey there. It’s me.

Yes, the really real me. I am here. Which is different because I haven’t been here much lately, I will admit. There are so many different reasons, that I haven’t been (and still am totally not) sure where to begin. So I’ll just ramble for a minute and maybe some of you will be able to identify with how the last few months have gone for me.

I haven’t been here much because, all those things I used to write? Yeah, they all left my head. Really. They did.

Over the past few months, I haven’t had many thoughts on things to share. Which is weird because I always want to talk and I always want to share. But nothing has been in my head. Not even for fiction-story-writing purposes. My daily let’s-write-this-many-words-per-day routine all but walked out the door. And it slammed on its way out. *Ouch*

But why, you ask? Yeah, me too. 

You see, I’m in a place with my writing that I’ve never been in before. Back in 2013 when I decided I would truly give this let’s-get-published thing a chance, I gained a burning desire to write that has never wavered. Ever. Even in the weeks/months where I had very little time to actually write, I always had that nagging in the back of my brain–or shall we say, screaming?–that I needed to sit and write at least some of the words–if not all the words–so my brain didn’t explode. Literally. (Okay, fine. Not literally, but still…) But something happened this past summer that changed things. And the crazy part is, I don’t know what that thing was.

To sum it up, I went to a writers conference back in July. Realm Makers. (*sigh, swoon, cartwheel*) Remember me talking about that? Yeah. And it was amazing! Really, it was. I met crazy amounts of people that are all super weird like me and I learned so many things that really made me want to make my writing the best that it could possibly be. Really.

But then, it also didn’t. See, while there, I met with a mentor and told her of my anxiety over the fact that I feel like I have so many things I need to do on social media every. single. day. and that I’m not sure what the purpose is since I’m not even a published writer! I mean, who’s reading my stuff anyway, right? And why would I talk about my books that aren’t coming out when I don’t know if-they-ever-will/when-they-will-be coming out? She agreed. It’s tough for a non-published writer to gain a following and excitement over their writing when they have nothing to show for it. (In print, anyway.)

So, I decided to take a small break and then come back with renewed interest and ideas of things to blog about. Except that during that time I reflected on the pressures of being a writer and all the things I’m supposed to be doing daily, and watching all the things that all my other writing friends must do daily, and all the things that I might someday have to do daily once I actually for really real become published and–CRASH! I hit a wall. No, not literally, but it sure felt like it.

I got so overwhelmed with all the things I had to do or I might have to do or I wasn’t doing that everyone else in the universe was doing, that I sort of froze. And felt sad. Very, very sad. (St. John’s Wort has become my bossom buddy.) And the words just sort of, went away. *sniff, sniff* All my words–those lovely words that I adore putting on the page and am eager to twist into different worlds and stories, they all went away! Yes, I prayed for God to give me direction. In fact I begged him, seriously begged him for words. But I had nothing. And then I’d meet people and they’d be all, “Oh wow! You’re a writer! Awesome!” and I’d be all cringy inside because, if I’m supposed to be a writer, then shouldn’t I be doing that little thing called writing? 

*Sigh* So there you have it. The truth is out. And is hopefully setting me free (right Anne with an “E”?) The truth is I’ve been depressed and confused. That’s where I’ve been. Wallowing and wandering and pondering and seeking. 

The good news is, I think I’m finally climbing out of my slump. I’ve had stories popping in my head lately and some of them I’ve actually written down! Yippee! I woke up this morning and all I wanted to do was sit in front of my laptop for a few hours before going to church! Yes! And through the counsel of a very good writer friend, I think I’m getting my head on straight with what I actually want my writing to be and the future that I hope to see for it.

Things are different now. My perspective of writing and the writing industry is different and I think even the way I write might have changed. (We shall see.) But that’s okay. This is a good thing. Life is about change. Sometimes that change comes out of the blue and smacks you upside the head. Sometimes you don’t know how to handle that change and you sit frozen for a few months. But on the other side of change, good things can happen. Good things will happen. I need to believe that. 

A brand new year is around the corner. 2018 looms like the shadow of a toddler standing outside the bathroom door waiting for mama to be done already. And I’m excited. Really excited this time. Throughout the past few months there were times I thought I was excited but I hadn’t fully worked through emotions and deep seeded stuff that needed worked on. But now I have and I’m ready. Ready to see where my writing takes me and what that means for this blog.

So stay tuned. I can’t promised my posts will be timely or frequent but they will have new direction, new life. That’s for sure. Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends. It means a lot that you’re even reading these words. 

Merry Christmas. Go bake a batch of cookies and take them to a neighbor you don’t know. It will do amazing things for your heart. I promise. ❤

~Laura

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Photo credit by James Pond via Unsplash 

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The Case of the Missing Blogger

The police were stumped. What appeared to be just an average month for Caffeinated Fiction turned out to be an unsolved mystery. *gasp* One day the blog was bopping along perfectly happy, with posts here and there and everywhere, and then bam! Out of the blue the posts just disappeared. Not a clue was left behind with only an occasional blurb over a six week period, which–let’s be honest–really did nothing but raise the hopes of the readers that another blog post just might actually appear. But they didn’t. They were just…gone. Where, you ask? Never fear…Detective Laura L. Zimmerman is on the case and ready to investigate…

Or maybe not.

Clearly there’s no need for investigation since I’m the missing blogger! *peeks from behind a pile of books in the corner with a cringy smile*

Oops. Okay, so in case you missed it, I haven’t been too active on this thing, as of late. And yes, I have been contacted by others to ask where in the world I could’ve gone? Was I abducted by aliens? Lost in the Bermuda Triangle? Joined the Witness Protection Program? Finally put my awesomely amazing ninja skills to the test?

As much as I think that last one would be cool, none of those are the answer to my absence. Actually, I just took a vacation. Back in August. For a week. But as these things happen, that week turned into three. No big deal, I thought. Everyone deserves a vacation. I’ll start blogging again in September. And I did. Once. But as vacations are so very hard to leave, mine was equally just as hard. And before you ask, nope. I have no excuse for being lazy this far into the month. I have a list of things to discuss for my Caffeinated Convo column and can certainly come up with a thing or two to discuss in Caffeinated Speculation. And let’s not even talk about the Friday Flash Fiction–sooo many stories have gone unwritten (yet still bonk around inside my head and not on paper.)

All this to say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve been lazy and absent and confusing. I still want to report what I learned at Realm Makers and I’ve just got stuff to say. I will admit that I’ve made the decision to give myself grace when it comes to the “weekly” columns. Yes, I’d love to get a CC or CS up when I can, but I’ve learned recently that one stressor can sometimes become a block for my writing. I feel too much pressure to get my blog posts done. So from here on out I’m going to write as much as I can, when I can. And hopefully not take another extended vacation for a very long time.

So, there you have it. Apology given and case solved! Having said all that, how have you been? What have I missed over the past 6 weeks? I’d love to hear any news you’d like to share or just hear a shout out from anyone who has ever had a tough time coming off vacation.

Now, go drink some coffee and get on with your day! *imagines fireworks in the sky as she slinks away to write*

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A picture of my cat to make you smile!