I just figured out what may be the real reason I struggle with writing Discovery & Deception. Anyone who follows my writing count posts will have seen that I rarely hit 1K in the story when I write, and even more rare is going over that. Usually I finish one every 3-4 months. This may go past that number. Now, to be fair I do also admit that things have been tough around me lately.
But, it’s more than that.
Yes, many days I’m lucky lately to get a full free hour of writing in. Especially because I am trying to prioritize my morning workout for my mental health, as much as my body. Those who don’t know me may well think it’s a shallow reason when I say body. I used to be overweight and after ten years of working, I have lost the weight that I had. I also deal with a lot of body pain daily and I live with an elderly mother and a pack of dogs I took responsibility for. I get little help with it every day.
There have been times I got woke in the middle of the night from a dead sleep with issues with dogs, sure. But also an elderly mother calling my name because she needed help getting into bed.
So not only does that take a physical toll, but it takes a mental toll. I have PTSD and have been working my tootum off to get through each day and heal myself, get back to a normal life, or a new normal life. My writing is my FT job, and currently not really making much so it impacts my day-to-day life because when you’re not making much money, options are limited. It’s why I finally put a donate link at the bottom of all these posts. People always ask me how they can help. Donations, help. That one dollar that people may donate goes extremely far to help with website costs, and dog food. That also takes a toll on the mental health. So I prioritize my physical well-being as much as the mental and emotional these days.
They all work in tandem.
That actually leads me into why I realized writing Discovery & Deception is tough for me most days. I think part of me is feeling an emotional toll when I write it. It gets hard to write about the character in it who is an extreme narcissist. It also becomes hard to write about the one who deals with it. If you’ve ever dealt with one, you know how they make you feel. Shame is probably one of the worst feelings. A low worth another. You might prioritize another. For me, it’s those two. And those happen to be the two emotions that this character, Clair, deals with. For her I think the shame and responsibility, but also not being heard. She dealt with years of not being heard. People believing the narc, not her. People enabling his behavior (I dealt with this) and making her responsible. As in, if she got screamed at, well then why’d she do ___ ?
That’s enabling. We say they griped at me because ___. So the other person says well then why would you? Or why do you stay? Or I would’ve ___ . The people who also try to fix, instead of simply being there. That, is never helpful to a person dealing with an abuser. Being IN the pain and simply saying I understand that so much, I am sorry they made you feel that way. THAT is a far better response. Even reminding that person it’s not them. They are not the problem. They are not responsible for that behavior of the other person.
In this novel I am having to face a lot of those same situations, but in a different manner obviously. The shame is the same. The people blaming the victim is the same. The enablers is the same. The finally feeling as if there is no more point in fighting is the same. Not suicide (could be too), just giving up hope of ever doing more than existing alone.
I think a huge part of me is fighting against writing and reliving these scenes. I may well have to include a warning in this book. A TW (trigger warning) to state straight out – if you’re sensitive to narcissism, this book isn’t for you. It may also get put on the backburner of my “to edit” pile and keep getting put off. I did not expect this of this story. This wasn’t the plan for it. It was a doppelganger story, then suddenly I saw the reality of this character and the female trying to get away from him and I think that was the point my muse started to dig its heels in. The muse started to say no more!
I’m nearing the end of the story I think (or I might do notes to add more detail and skim/draft write it more just to finish it), but this has been a hard sluggish trudge with this one. I am always going to be open about my process and I am worn down of the fake people out there so I don’t see any point in always putting on a happy face with every book I write. Because as any writer knows, there will be some stories that impact us more, that we don’t enjoy as much, and become a challenge.
The Discovery & Deception novel has become that challenge.
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