How quarantine helped me fall in love with writing again

The year was 2020. Wait, am I allowed to even say that? Is it like a Bloody Mary or Beetlejuice situation? Because I do not want that year back. It can stay down in the fires of hell where it belongs.

I have always loved writing. I’ve loved creating stories and I’ve done it since I was young. Long before I knew what I was really doing. They were just there in my head. Eventually I started writing them down but I struggled to find the right way to write my stories. I went from book to screenplay and then back again. Each time learning more about how to write but feeling more furstrated and less creative. Honestly, it felt like a passion that was going nowhere.

Then I had my second kid and when you have a newborn, you achieve nothing. I focused on him. And then when he was just five months old, lockdown happened. Quarantine. I already had anxiety. The world was getting more chaotic by the week and I was stressed trying to handle raising a baby and a six year old who was suddenly relying on me to be his teacher, occupational therapist, physical therpaist, speech therapist, and mom. All while my husband was working from home in our open den two rooms away.

I was burnt. I was longing for stress relief, but writing didn’t feel like it used to. And because it was the year that shall not be named, the hits just kept on coming. I lost two grandparents (neither to covid) without the proper way or space to mourn them. Life just kept tumbling on and as election season came through, I was on Facebook and news sites constantly. My stress levels were high, I was still homeschooling a child who desperately needed to be in a classroom, and my infant was rapidly turning into a toddler.

I sought comfort in my favorite TV shows but ultimately nothing really provided what I was looking for. That soul-swelling story that sucks you in and makes you feel like you’re home. I’d watched all my favorites so many times, they’d lost some of that feeling. I wanted that again. I wanted that inspiration.

So, after Facebook and news overload, I saw a Black Friday deal for Kindle Unlimited and decided to do it. That would be a much better way to spend my free time, especially all the nights up late with my little one who never wanted to sleep.

I read the first few books in the Sweet Magnolias series since I’d become obessed with the TV show and wanted to know what happens (even though the car accident thing is not in the books so I’m still on the edge of my seat about that). And then I kept seeing this other book recommended: That Boy by Jillian Dodd.

Finally I gave in to my Kindle’s recommendations and started reading it.

And suddenly, I was in love.

And inspired.

I was reading a book that gave me that soul-swelling feeling. But I was also reading a book that felt like me. It felt like the way I write. With characters who feel like they’re your best friends. They feel real. I connected with that. And suddenly I was writing again… I actually stopped reading it a few chapters in because I was so inspired to write.

Then I picked it up again and kept reading, lost in the story, which is not always easy for me. And just when I thought I knew where the story might go, the twist happened. And if you’ve read the book, you know the massive shock that happens. It totally changed my perception of the book and I loved it more.

I kept reading, plowing through the book and then onto the second in the series, That Wedding, which has become one of my favorite books ever.

Then I thought… I want to write a friends to lovers story. So I did. And it flew out of me. The first iteration, anyway.

Now it’s blocked out to a multi book series with the first two written, the next two half-written, and the rest all blocked out.

Finally I not only started feeling like myself again, but I started seeing a path toward writing as a career. And then I learned about self-publishing. And because I’m controlling with what I create and a glutton for punishment, I decided hey, that could be a thing for me to do.

In the last five months I’ve written four books, started three more, and have many more blocked out. And though it won’t be easy, I’m ready to jump on this path, more ready than I’ve ever been. So, that’s what I’m gonna do.

I’m not sure when I’ll self-publish the first book or which one it will be, but the first thing I launch will be a story told in “episodes” on Amazon’s new Kindle Vella service.

More to come on that when I know it! Look for announcement on the title and a teaser for what to expect soon.

Until then, check back here for my random thoughts and recommendations, behind the scenes and teasers of what else I’m working on, and maybe some free fictional content.

If you want to keep up with me, follow me over on Instagram

And if you’re curious about me, you can read more here

As for what to expect from my writing… true love, epic romance, friends who are always there for each other, complicated families, and lots of cozy, warm feelings that will hopefully make you feel right at home.

Hope you’ll join me on the ride.

Bethany

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