My life has restarted. For the last few weeks of summer, I begged for this. After I completed my novel, I wanted nothing more than to have something–anything really–to do to distract me from the baby queries I had just sent out into the world.
Now, life has started, and I’m struggling.
Most of my classes make me feel semi-incompetent. Not incompetent in a way that makes me feel as if I will not do well, but incompetent in a way that I feel unnatural. I do not understand easily, and that is still a new experience for me.
I am slowly, but often, receiving rejection letters from some of the nations most prominent literary agents, and there is nothing easy about that.
On top of all of this, I have moved in with three other people.
My roommates are great. They are beautiful girls who live life to the fullest and push for what they want. They are so intelligent and funny and capable.
But after a summer all by myself, feeling in the zone and like I was built for what I was doing, this is quite the adjustment.
When writing my novel, I found my niche. I knew it was where I belonged, and even the days I struggled were beautiful. I had the time to evaluate my thoughts, reactions, and mindsets. I poured every ounce of myself into a creation that I came out feeling incredibly proud of. Behind the clacking keys of my word document, I was confident, and powerful, and in my place.
Now I’m just not.
I am adjusting to having no alone time, and having to study for classes I do not understand, and not having a novel. I am adjusting to this overwhelming feeling of incompetency. I am not adjusting to rejection. That, I am only crying over.
Two days ago I went to a coffee shop with my boyfriend to study. I was supposed to be reading a supplementary packet for my English class about banned books, but it was written by Toni Morrison who played a huge role in the way I wrote some of the most influential moments of FROM THE GULF, and I was distracted.
As I sat there, staring into space instead of reading, I had an idea.
I wrote it down.
That piece of paper, with that confusing, chicken-scrawled sentence, is the first idea for a novel I have had since I finished FROM THE GULF.
Did that idea give me confidence, and excitement? Absolutely not. I know how long and strenuous the road is between here and the chapter outlines. I know because I have walked it before. I have tripped and fallen on that road, and I have broken bones. But I have also found beauty, and confidence, and assurance on that road.
Even though I’m not anywhere close to expanding those ideas, or creating a new novel, or even a short story,
Baby, that road is a sight for sore eyes.