Writer’s Block, Breakups, and Finally Writing My First Novel

All my life, there has been a little voice in the back of my  head tell me “Someday, Elise, you will write a book.” It was persistent, and confident, and good at procrastinating my ambition far off into the distant future. After college I will write, I said to myself. Shortly after college graduation, on a hazy, hot Kansas summer day, the idea for my first book floated into my mind like some sort of heat-induced hallucination of creativity. However, an acute case of writer’s block coupled with the busyness of adjusting to post-graduate life hindered the story from going anywhere. That was in 2012–fast forward over two tumultuous years where the few meager attempts to start my book were buried under snowballing personal problems. Finally, at the end of 2014, one week before Christmas, I wrote an introductory chapter which I was happy with–more than happy with. I knew then and there that what I had written was the end of my two and a half years of writer’s block. Ecstasy was shortly replaced with severe angst when, mere days later, my boyfriend of the time broke up with me. It was a devastating blow which sent both my psyche and my writing into a nearly month-long slump. However, one night I went back and read the first chapter I had so gleefully scrawled on a yellow legal pad, and I felt a fresh thrill at how right it sounded. Slowly but surely, I began working on my novel. The chapters came slowly at first, but as January came to a close, February then began to rapidly slip by as I was writing one or two chapters a day. It began to feel so natural–the words had been there for so long, and it felt indescribable to finally become confident and come into my own as a writer. On March 27, almost exactly three months after that terrible break up, I finished my first novel, Capacitance, and the voice in my head now can speak indulgently in the past tense–“I have written a book.” Realizing the first big step of accomplishing a lifelong dream is a surreal feeling, which still hasn’t fully settled in for me yet. As I now begin the daunting task of querying agents, practicing my pitch, and (most challenging of all) continuing to write the next novel in the trilogy, I look forward to sharing my experiences here on A Constant Chiaroscuro.

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