The start of a new year

Seeing as it’s a new year, I felt like I should do a little update on where I am in my writing life.

In June of 2022, I began to seriously work on the novel I had outlined in the beginning of the year. It took some changes to how I’ve done my writing in the past, including buying Scrivener. Although I was hesitant at first to take the dive into a new writing program, I had heard such great things about it and, after using the free trial for a few days, I was hooked. What I like the most about Scrivener is that the entire story is broken up by scenes. Where Word was just one long, unbroken document, I found breaking everything up into shorter segments was more manageable. The fact that I can add notes to each section is another plus. Now, whenever I realize something should be changed in the story, instead of having the urge to find where the mistake is and immediately fix it, I go to the section in question, jot a note down, and move on. While I know headlines can be made in Word and the comment feature could be utilized for notes, Scrivener is just more aesthetically pleasing to me, as well. Now, I haven’t done anything super fancy with Scrivener. I’ve really only used it for breaking up my scenes and the notecard feature. But those basics have really helped me stay focused and organized.

The other thing that I feel I should give credit to is the fact that in March I started on new anxiety medication. I’ve dealt with anxiety and panic attacks since my senior year in college but I was never keen about being on medication. I was on anxiety medication for a year just to stop the panic attacks that I was having in my sleep, and once I stopped taking them the panic attacks stopped. My anxiety has been mild and manageable up until March 2022 when I started having panic attacks again. With responsibilities that differed from the ones I had in 2011, I decided to give medication a second try. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best things I did for myself (along with starting therapy again). I never realized how much my anxiety consumed me until I didn’t feel it anymore. The medication I’m on silenced the crippling doubt just enough so I could work on my writing without absolutely hating everything I put down. I don’t think I can properly describe how it feels to be able to get back to writing fiction, the thing I’ve loved since I was young, but it has definitely been exciting and a treat.

I ended 2022 with 45k written on my novel – one that I started writing in college and always wanted to get back to but never felt the time was right. Until now. I’m going to spend 2023 finishing the first draft (hopefully), and then maybe focus on writing some short stories to send out to clear my mind before I start to edit.

I’m looking forward to a new (and, hopefully, successful) year!

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