Writer’s Musings: A New Year of “Raw, Strange” Fire

“That was the place from which I hoped to work, headed in the only direction worth going, the direction of myself, trying to help us all refuse the awful bargains we’ve been taught to take.”
– Casey Gerald, “Embrace your raw, strange magic” TED Talk

2020 has been a ride.

It’s been a year of transformation. At the beginning of 2020, I had this little nugget of a story, Daylight Chasers, and on a whim, decided to self-publish it and see where it went. It opened up the world of Twitter’s #WritingCommunity to me, and I’ve met so many wonderful, amazing people there that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I also wrote a novel, The Fable of Wren, which I’m currently querying—something I never would have imagined I’d have the bravery to be doing a year ago!—and I have another novel, Origami Bones, which I’m currently writing.

I also started this newsletter, which is now over 6 months on, sent bi-weekly with only a few delayed sends (but never completely missing a week!) I’ve done 16 book reviews and interviews for indie authors, and have more scheduled through June of this year (wow!)

And yet I have this undercurrent of dissatisfaction in my work. Part of it is the writing slump I’ve been in the past few months. I’ve struggled to get anything on the page. But after rewatching “Embrace your raw, strange magic” by Casey Gerald, author of There Will Be No Miracles Here, I have an inkling of why I feel unsatisfied with my progress.

In Casey’s TED Talk, he discusses the personal sacrifices he made to fit the mold in order to achieve his successes, and how in the end it wasn’t actually enough to take him where he thought he needed to go. Being gay in Texas, there were some sacrifices even he wasn’t willing to make in order to achieve the dreams that were prescribed to him, and it was after a failed Congress run that he decided enough was enough and embraced his ‘raw, strange magic.’

I can relate to Casey. I started 2020 with a whim, and went in the directions that I was told were ‘right’ for a writer. And in some ways, it aligned with my own wants and needs, but in other ways, it hasn’t. I don’t regret what I’ve achieved in 2020, but I think 2021 needs to be a time of self-discovery where I decide where my own writer’s path will take me, based on my own wants and goals rather than a prescribed path. I need to embrace my own raw, strange magic.

There will be changes coming in 2021, to align more with who I am. I hope you’ll stick around for the journey, and I thank all of you for being here through the thick and thin of this rollercoaster of a year.

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