May 062012

by: Joelle Charbonneau

As some of you might know, the past 6 or 7 months have been a challenge for me.  Not that good things haven’t happened.  They have!  In fact, some really amazing things that were on the list of “Wow, I hope someday….” happened.  Book 4 of the Rebecca Robbins series sold!  My amazing agent sold my young adult trilogy to a spectacular editor.  (She’s not just spectacular because she bought the books, but because she pushes me to be a better writer.)  Since that time, I’ve learned those books will be published in French and German and will also be made into audio books.  Cool right?
I should be on top of the world.  I should have energy to spare as I write this current manuscript.  Everything should be coming up roses.
And yet, life doesn’t work that way.  Just because there are really cool things happening doesn’t mean I feel on top of my game.  It doesn’t mean that the personal things that aren’t so great are balanced by the news that I get on the work front.  In fact, while each piece of good news makes me smile, I find that smile disappears quicker than it once did.  I sleep less easy.  In short…I’ve hit a wall.
Yep.  That was the sound of me running smack into that wall.  No, I’m not talking about writers block.  I am still writing every day.  Rain or shine, I put my but in the chair and I type because that’s my job.  I’m talking about an emotional wall.  One that makes me feel less optimistic about the world, my work and my life.  The wall is tall and dark and really, really tall and when I think about having to scale it, I want to sit down on the ground and cry.  Does that sound girly?  Probably?  But I’m a girl so I’m allowed. 
The point is that on those days where the wall appears, it is easy to think about not writing.  I come up with a lot of excuses as to why I should step away.  The writing won’t be as strong.  A nap would make me feel better.  I deserve a break.
But while those reasons are all valid and in many ways compelling, the days that the wall appears are the most important days for me to write.  Because I prove to myself that I can.  Rain or shine, I show myself that I can scale that wall.  And hopefully, greener pastures are lurking on the other side.