• J.M. Beddingfield

The First in Two Years

As a parent, my life is dictated and organized by my kid's school schedule. When to go on vacation. When to work. When to get family time in. Doctors. Shopping. Life as a whole. The end and the start of the year as markers in my own professional milestones. This pandemic, as it has for many, has completely obliterated and changed both my schedule and the measurement of what time is. What it means.

I’m querying again, which means I gave my author site a facelift. Something to say, "Hi, book world I'm here! I'm worth a look!"

So, I do that. Then I see the blog post tab and realize I've haven't written a post since I moved from the Seattle area to the Phoenix area. August 5th marks two years since we migrated. This lack of blog posting a magnifying glass.

Suddenly, I'm panicking.

How have two years passed? What the hell is happening to my forehead? This project I'm pitching now I starting working on in earnest during #1000wordsofsummer in 2019, right after my kids got out of school. (Side note: Jami Attenberg is amazing and so is her 1000wordsofsummer magic. So, check both out if you haven't.) That marker. Another school year. Another book written. Another book not published. More odd jobs stacked up. Still, my career not where I want it to be.

Now I can't stop obsessing about time. How it passes. How things change. How others stay the same. It isn't very helpful. I know this. I'm trying to be kind to myself. Even though I haven't landed an agent yet I’ve learned a hell of a lot in the last year and a half. My writing, tools, and connections have all grown. I’m close. I can feel it. It's too easy to look at the calendar and be disappointed. What is about the passing of time that has this power to make me use it a measure of how I'm not good enough?

School is no longer a ruler. My kids start a new year online. They are restless. I think most of the world might be. There is so much I don't know. Maybe that's always the case. Now given all that's dropped out from under us it's easier to see.

The world is different. I think in many ways it's never going to be the same. Some of that is positive. I have to pull up my pants and focus on this new project while the other one is knocking on agents' doors. My inner-doubt voice is louder than ever recently. I’ll wrangle myself into the seat to write. Windows are harder to find than ever before, and that voice is the first thing I have to deal with. Are you sure about this? Will anyone care? Does hard work actually pay off?

The answer is, Yes, of course.

This pandemic and all that’s happening in society make anxiety and fear grow in the way that putting wet sneakers in a dark cold closet encourages mold. Tools to combat this are more needed and harder to wield.

So, yeah, I guess this is my first blog post in years. The world is overwhelming and impossible but I am here and trying.

Good luck with whatever you are juggling.

*raises coffee cup*

Until next time.

Be kind. Be safe. Mask up.


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As I sat down to write the post I thought, "This is great. I need to do this every day. I need to make time for writing outside of my fiction projects." Other random, obscured thoughts circled my mind