I Am (Tentatively) Back

It’s been over two years since I last wrote a blog post, but I’m tentatively coming back here, as I’ve been thinking more and more about writing, my experience with writing and publishing Purge: Rehab Diaries, and having a film option on my book fall through. Life has changed so much since I regularly wrote blog entries. I have an almost 22-month-old, and I work a 9-5 job. Both of these things keep me very busy, yet I’m finding myself ready to come back to some of the practices I had before I had my daughter, and before I left teaching.

Looking out at Lake Superior on a recent vacation.

I’ve started running again, practicing yoga, and writing. All of these things are so important to me, and it feels good to come back to them, although the experience of doing all three has greatly changed, since I have greatly changed.

I’ll start with running. The farthest I have ran since having my daughter is an incredibly slow 1.5 miles. After carrying an almost 9-pound breech baby, having a c-section, and breastfeeding for 13 months, my body is completely different now. Yet, it feels so good to come back to running. I love the meditative aspect of it, and hitting the point in a run where I just feel glorious. My hope is to run a couple times a week, especially as we’re coming into autumn in Minnesota, and cool, crisp autumn runs are the best.

My running shoes I bought last November…I’m finally getting a chance to use them now.

I have had an on-again, off-again relationship with yoga. In my twenties, I loved hot yoga, but now I’m finding that I gravitate toward slower, more deliberate styles, such as yin and restorative. I think that’s what my mind and body need right now. I also have done a bit of yoga nidra, which involves group chanting, which I thought I would absolutely hate, but I loved it. I was also invited to join a goddess circle and embrace the divine feminine at yoga one night, but that’s a bit beyond my comfort zone at this point. I’ll have to write more about yoga in future blog posts.

I <3 yin yoga.

Writing. Oh, writing. How I love and hate you.

This is complicated.

I have struggled to find my subject matter after writing Purge: Rehab Diaries. At first, I thought I wanted to write a sequel about life after eating disorder treatment, but I soon realized that I was done, at least for awhile, writing about eating disorders. Next, I tried writing about where I grew up, and gun culture in rural Pennsylvania, and while the research for that project was very fun, I found it wasn’t what I wanted to write about. I wrote a couple articles for one of my favorite websites, The Billfold, one about running my first 5K, and the other about places where I have lived, and also focused on poetry.

Writing at my favorite coffee shop in Minneapolis.

Then, I decided to leave teaching, and transition into a job with a steady schedule, benefits, etc. Soon after, I was pregnant with my daughter, and my world totally changed, and I did not write for a very long time.

I do not feel bad about this. Sometimes you have to live life instead of writing about it. Yes, you can do both at the same time, but that’s not where I was.

Shortly after starting my new job, a legit (not some guy in his mom’s basement) Hollywood screenwriter optioned my book. This was incredibly exciting, as it meant someone wanted to use my book as source material for a feature film! I was so thrilled, and I spent an inordinate amount of time daydreaming about who would play me in the film. I daydreamed about the soundtrack. I spent a good couple months with my head in the clouds, and rightfully so. It was a huge honor to have my book optioned.

The option period lasted roughly a couple years, then the option was not renewed, and it messed with my head. I hadn’t realized how important the option had become to me. After it was not renewed, I felt like I should just get over it, and move on. Then I realized, I needed to let myself mourn. So I have. I’m still not fully over it, but I realize I cannot let this loss paralyze my writing.

Now that I’ve been in my current position a year, and my daughter is becoming more independent, I am finding time for writing again. I surprised myself and started working on a novel. It’s very early on, but I think about it a lot, even when I’m not writing.

If you’re a writer, everyone wants to know what you’re writing about. So here is the general idea I have for my novel: I am writing a feminist mystery in which the focus is on female friendship. I am enjoying writing the novel, although much like running, it’s slow going.

That’s my update. I hope to blog more often now, as I miss it. It’s a good complement to writing my novel, and journaling.

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