• Heather Hildenbrand

My own worst enemy


Truth: I haven’t finished a book since 2017.

You might have noticed that last year, I released a lot of books. This year, I’ve released one. (And it was written in 2017.) I didn’t set out with the intention of NOT writing. Mostly, it’s just life. Or that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

In 2016-2017, I spent 20 months in Florida away from my kids while my husband finished school. It was hard AF being away from them but it was also conducive to writing. I had a LOT of free time thanks to the husband pulling 18 hours days. I wrote. A lot. And it felt good.

Then, in December 2017, we moved back to Virginia. I slid back into “Mom” mode instantly and then something on the writing side of things broke. I didn’t realize it right away. I just felt busy. Pulled in a million different directions.

But it’s as if I blinked and HOLY SHIT. It’s JUNE.

And STILL I have not finished anything.

I’ve started things. Five, to be exact. And promised things. Three, specifically. And I’ve developed a side project that isn’t writing-related that lights me up BUT still hasn’t come to fruition yet.

And in the middle of all that, I haven’t actually finished anything.

Because of the struggle, I decided it might be easier to rework an old, dusty project than to create a new one from start to (the dreaded) finish. So, I went back to the first book I ever wrote (originally called Across the Galaxy, unpublished for years now) and reworked it. I’ve basically rewritten the entire thing at this point and it’s awesome. Fun and action-packed and sweet and romantic. I’m proud of it.

But I am sitting at 3 chapters from the end and STILL, here I am, writing this blog post instead of finishing the damned thing.

WHY???

No, really. I’m not being facetious. I really want to know why. Nothing feels “wrong” inside my creative center. I am inspired. I am mentally healthy (relatively speaking considering I’m the mom of two teens). And I’m not burnt out. If anything, I don’t get to work enough hours per day because of all the Mom stuff. (And before you say it, I’ve never been a procrastinator.)

So, why am I avoiding finishing?

If I had to dig deep right now, I’d tell you that the vulnerability of putting your work out in the world never goes away. But I’ve never been beaten by that fear before. Then there’s the business side of what I do, and let me tell you, the biz side of writing is feeling the squeeze right now across the board. I think maybe there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to feel let down when my expectations aren’t quite met.

Regardless of WHY, I can tell you that  the closer I get to the end, the more I fight myself. It’s like my brain doesn’t want to me finish a book.

Maybe at the finish line, the answer will be waiting.

Maybe I just don’t want to know it.

P.S. If you’ve ever struggled like this, please let me know! What did you do to climb out/push past it? I’m all ears!

© 2020 by Heather Hildenbrand

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