I'm starting a new scrapbook soon. It's a scrapbook I've wanted to start for...16 months now...a scrapbook I actually bought a year ago today. You see, 1 year ago today we were at an adoption matching conference for a toddler (one of four couples chosen from a list of 300 plus). We weren't matched and that was okay, we thought of it as training for The One. But, on the way home we stopped at a Hobby Lobby and I found the perfect scrapbook for the baby already placed with us. She was technically a foster child at that point but we wanted her to be our forever baby so badly it hurt.
So I bought the book even though the future was uncertain. A week later, we learned that there was a bio-father in the picture and things were about to get really, really muddy. Several times I was ready to throw the scrapbook out because I couldn't bear to look at it, much less start the book for the baby. I started to grieve for her in January when it looked as if she would definitely be leaving us and going to a relative. Depression, anxiety..it stopped me cold and wrung me out. There were a lot of days when I was just flattened. So I stopped writing for a while and then I started writing again as therapy - boy does that wip need some work! - and gradually I started to get through the anger portion of the grief program and moved into the acceptance portion. I started to write non-angry, hopeful fiction again and it helped me cope with even more days when it seemed we would lose our precious girl.
And then the relative placement didn't happen. And then the bio-father revoked his rights. And the bio-mother's rights were severed.
Today, we signed the first of many stacks and reams of papers to start the actual adoption of our beautiful baby and it made me realize: it's time to start that scrapbook I bought a faith a year ago.
In a lot of ways, fiction writing is like the terrible year I'm coming out of. It starts with a hope and a rocky road follows but that hope always comes back. At the end. Plotters or pantsters, we don't always know where the wips are going and we can't know how the message of the books will affect all of the different readers out there. We don't even know that readers other than our critique groups or beta readers will ever see the books. And yet we start them again and again and again.
Are you ready to start?