Hello, is anyone out there? It’s been a long time since I even logged into this blog and now that I’m here it definitely feels like the overwhelming sensation of entering an old home in need of repair. There’s so much to do, so many things that could be fixed that it seems daunting. But really, that’s how I’ve felt about writing for a while now, so at least all of this falls under the same theme.
If this is your first time here, or if you’ve followed me forever but forgot who I am, I’ll give you a quick recap. My name is Jaysen. I am an author and, now, content creator. I began my writing journey several years ago with my first book A Love Story for Witches. Now I have 5 published books, and I worry that if I don’t do something soon, it will stay at five.
In 2019, I had just finished my novel, Longtails: The Wildfires of Summer, and I was feeling pretty great about writing. But at the time, my husband, who had also been a partner for me in my writing career, and I decided to separate. And we most likely would have. But then the Covid-19 Pandemic hit and, forced to spend every waking moment together, we began to work through the issues that had plagued us for so long. During this time, I also started creating content for the Booktok community on Tiktok. It was exhilerating to be able to share my love of reading with others. It felt like I was experiencing reading with other readers for the first time. Of course, all of this, despite how positive it was and continues to be had a huge impact on my writing.
Two things happened. With things broken for a while between my partner and I, I felt lost in the world of writing. He had always been my motivator and my biggest fan. The other thing that happened was that I would watch hours a day of other content creators like myself tearing books apart in their reviews and it broke me. This is not to say that books should not be criticized or reviewed. But more to say that for me personally, standing in the middle of that crowd, I started to think, I can NEVER live up to these expectations. I can never make them all happy. And while it may seem obvious that “You can’t please them all,” this was something that would stunt my passion for writing for nearly 2 years.
And that brings us here. I’m in the middle of one novel and have ideas and an outline for two more. And for the first time in a long time, I WANT to write. But now I worry that I’ve forgotten how.
So I’ve decided to take it in baby steps. Three things I think can make a huge difference and get me writing again.
The Hero’s Journal
The first thing I have started doing is working with the Hero’s Journal. This is a Journal that helps you to choose a goal and work towards it with self affirmations but it does it in a fun way, making the whole thing feel like an epic quest. I’ll add a link to the Journal so you can check it out but it’s always seemed like such a fun idea and I think “Falling Back in Love with Writing and Publishing a New Book” makes for a worthy quest if ever there was one.
Here is the link to the Hero’s Journal if you’re interested in checking it out for yourself.
RPG Writing Exercise
Something else I want to do is write something that’s super low stakes as a warm up to writing each day. Something I can really have fun with in order to help remove some of the weight I’ve put on my back as I try to write the next books in two series I’ve been working on for years. Each of those have so many story lines to tie up and many fans to please and I want so badly to do it right that I often let that terrify me. So, I’ve decided to do some brainstorming, free writing exercises in the form of a tabletop RPG played solo and in a very loose journal form.
For my first experiment with this, I will be working with the new RPG Wanderhome which is Tabletop RPG about empathy and a journey of kindness. In a way, I hope that this will be meditative and perhaps I will learn to share some of that empathy and kindness with myself.
I also plan to share this portion of all of this here on the blog. Maybe no one will care to read it and that’s okay. It’s for me and posting it is a way to hold myself accountable. Though if it does resonate with you, please let me know!
Actually making time to Write
The third is the most obvious. All of this comes down to making time every single day to write. Not necessarily to write the novels I’m so desperate to finish, although my hope is that they will be worked on as well. But simply to write. Anything. Whether it’s journaling in the Hero’s Journal, free writing and brainstorming with Wanderhome or actual novel writing, I just want to write again. I want to rediscover this thing I had so much passion for.
And that’s the plan. It’s a plan I made for me, by me and I have no idea if it will work. I’ll be positing updates on this blog to hopefully keep myself accountable. Back when I made this blog, it was called Jaysen Headley Writes because I wanted a centralized hub for all my writing projects. Then, I turned around and made this blog about everything BUT my writing. In truth, my writing scares me. I’m the kind of writer who often hates their work as an extension of hating themselves, but at some point that has to stop. At some point, I have to learn to tell myself that I am enough, even if that isn’t someone else’s best. I miss writing so much and I’ve let myself and what I think others will think hold me down for so long, I don’t even know if I remember how to stand. But as every great storyteller will remind you and me, every great journey begins with a single step.
So here it is. This post is my first step. And I am absolutely terrified. But in that fear, I think of this quote from the manga Yoshi no Zuikara: The Frog in the Well Does Not Know the Ocean. Maybe I am scared to death, but that’s okay, because Today, I Resolved Not to Throw Myself Away.