Every aspect of my life has been in upheaval for the past few months. I was avoiding blogging for so long because every day was so unsure, for awhile, I didn’t know what I could share or report that wouldn’t change within the next twenty-four hours. I think, finally, though, the dust is settling. I’ve fallen into a new semi-regular routine and, upon review, am comfortable enough to announce that this is how things are and how they’re going to be for awhile. Here are the results:

I gave up on my WIP. This was really hard to give up, because the first few chapters were some of the best writing I’ve ever done, I think. The problem was that I don’t think I realized how hard and unpleasant this particular WIP was making writing for me until…I started a new WIP and the words, characters, and story are appearing like magic and writing is fun again and I’m starting to rebuild my confidence that I am a writer and I write well. I’m hoping that this new book will build up my writing and imagination muscles so I’m able to attack that first WIP again, someday. But in the meantime, I’m completely charmed by this new WIP and I hope, in two months, so are my beta readers. I’m writing more and more regularly, averaging about 1,000 good, worth-keeping words a day. It’s not much, but it’s regular and gratifying. The new WIP is slowly growing; it’s hard, emotionally, to be at the beginning of a new project again when I think about how I have no completed project under my belt, when I think about the fact that I am completely starting from scratch, again, but it is what it is. I’m spending about 50% less time with my face glued to some screen connected to the internet which has, to my surprise, spiked my personal daily happiness an amazing amount. With less internet, I get more things done, things that weren’t getting done before and were causing me huge amounts of anxiety. Yes, this means I’m falling behind in my blog reading and writing. Yes, it means I’ve fallen behind with my email correspondence and other people are annoyed that I am not responding to their emails right. this. very. second. But it’s been so freeing and pleasant and it’s working for me so, that’s that. I’m commuting less, significantly less, and less times battling New Jersey roads and New Jersey drivers has made me infinitely happier. Why less commuting? I got a new job. I’m now Coordinator, Content Development at HarperCollins Publishers. [insert fangirl screaming here] There are so many good things at the new job that I can’t even list them all without sounding like a huge, snotty brag so I won’t go there except to say I love what I do and the people I’m doing it with and I lovelovelove all the books I’m able to read. On that note, I’m reading up a storm but being really picky and choosy about what I read, only reading books that I believe will be truly excellent. Putting a higher value on my personal reading time has made me happier too. As always, feel free to share your awesome reading experiences and become my friend on Goodreads. On another note, I’m eating in a completely new and entirely healthier way. I’m exercising regularly.

Honorary first day photo. Training at the HarperCollins NYC office!

I think what it all boils down to is that I’ve taken care of a bunch of personal stuff and I’m left happier than I’ve been in a long time. I’m emotionally steadier and I’m much healthier, both emotionally and physically. It feels like what I imagine a detox feels like. I didn’t even really realize how crappy I was feeling for so long, didn’t even realize how stressed out I was in my “normal” routine, didn’t realize how much all of this was negatively impacting my writing, which in turn made me feel even crappier, didn’t realize I was trapped in this huge ugly cycle of disappointment, until I got to this new place where the grass really is greener. I keep breathing the air and waiting and waiting and waiting for things to decline and decay, just a bit, but they don’t. Things really are better, and they’re staying better. I just want to let out a huge sigh of relief that not everything has to be as hard as I was beginning to believe it needed to be. There’s this amazing calm that’s come over me as I spend every day chipping away at several of my goals, where every day is actually a unit of progress in the right direction for so many things.

So, after that little personal ramble…Happy President’s Day to you! I hope things are going well in your worlds as well! I’m going to spend today’s holiday writing, reading, cleaning, and watching some of the massive amounts of snow outside my window melt. I’m going to eat some amazing lentil soup I made on the snow day earlier this week. I’m going to go to the gym tonight and listen to an audiobook. I’m going to pay a few bills and get a few things checked off my to-do list. It’s going to be fantastically relaxing and my WIP will be a little closer to being a real thing on my hard drive. I can’t wait :]

12 thoughts on “Changes

  1. Alice Fink says:

    Hi Hannah, so sorry to hear you were in such a dismal place. It took great effort to finally get where you are now and oh my, a new job, how wonderful and it sounds like you have made some great changes in your life. All the best. Miss you.

    • hannahkarena says:

      ALICE! Hi hi hi! I think it was probably more dismal for the people around me who had to deal with me being a grouch all the time…when I didn’t even realize I was being an unreasonable grump! Haha. Yes, everything is going well over here. I hope things are for you too! I hope you’re doing lots of relaxing and adventuring and other fun things! Miss you!

  2. thewritingprofessor55 says:

    Hello Hannah; I enjoyed reading your post and I can relate to so much of what you have written. It sounds like some healthy and gratifying changes. Things at Bloom continue along much the same . . . like the 1,000 words a day. Next fall we should have a Professional Writing Certificate available for non-degree seekers and the following fall a major track in Professional Writing.

    I hope it is okay that I am following you. I would love to catch up more formally and chat about an option I would like you to consider.

    • hannahkarena says:

      Hi Professor Martin–of course it’s okay you’re following the blog! It’d be silly of me to blog publicly and expect select others to censor their reading! The Professional Writing Certificate sounds great, sounds like lots of progress for the major. Feel free to email me at either my old Bloom address or the one I provide here on the blog. Interested to hear about this curious “option”!

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