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Why I Stopped Writing Books

I love reading. I love writing. But I haven't worked continuously on writing a book since January 2016.


I wrote intensely for months last year, writing more than I ever had on one individual project: 50,000 words on a novel that was set to have about 70,000. I was close to done, but then I wasn't sure where to go with it, so I took a break. I wrote snippets of other things here and there for a few months, and then my life changed. My family decided to move back to my hometown, and I started remembering what it was like to have friends and a life. And I liked it.

My book had been about a girl who moved away from her hometown and made the move work but still missed home an awful lot. It was supposed to be just a tad autobiographical. Except that I didn't have the same level of friendship in my new home—in fact, I never got to a point where I could call it my "home" rather, it was just a place that I watched TV and slept. Nothing more.
And so that book had been my reassurance at times that my life might be okay. It had been my chance to live vicariously through someone whose life I could control. And I didn't make it perfect, but I made my main character handle the problems I couldn't face.

Her more serious problems were different than my own—I never faced navigating divorced parents or worrying about money for college—but she figured out the problems that I couldn't.

She kept in touch with her old friends and made new ones. She bridged the gap between two worlds. She didn't face crippling social anxiety. She didn't have suicidal thoughts.

She didn't get obsessed with TV to the point of it negatively affecting her health. She didn't stay in her house for too long, just waiting for any reason (other than school) to leave.

And so, when this part of my life passed, I took a break from really even trying to write stories of immense struggles—I don't relate to them as much right now, and I don't need to drag that up in myself.

So I tried to write light, fluffy, happy stories. And I couldn't. Because I want my stories to be something that people can empathize with and grow through, and I don't know how to do that without real struggle.

And right now, I'm not in a place of real struggle. I'm in a place where I'm fairly comfortable. I'm growing in my relationship with God and learning to rely on Him when things are easy, too. It's okay to be at a different point in your life where something that used to be an outlet through which you expressed yourself isn't your thing as much anymore. Sometimes for us to grow, things have to change. And you know what? In my case, I'm happy they did.

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