It's a Long Story

First of all, HA! to Past!Darci for thinking I'd be able to blog often when I was pregnant. But luckily I was able to vlog fairly regularly, and for some reason that's easier for me than typing up a post? So that's a thing.

Second, heads up, this is gonna be a looooong post and quite personal. So if that's not your jam, consider yourself warned.

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Friends, I'd like to tell you a story. This is a story of me, my dreams, my goals, my hopes and my fears. I'm probably gonna get emotional, and I hope you don't mind, because the journey I've been on for the last seven years feels like it's finally reached its climax, and I only have the denouement left to go before I jump into the sequel.

Let's start back in 2011. March, to be precise. That month, I wrote what would be the first line of the first novel I would ever finish. I'd been blogging for fun for a while, and realized people kinda sorta liked what I had to say, and I'd always loved books, so why not try my hand at writing one?

What followed was a few months of me writing a page or two a week, until that September when I said to myself, "if I don't finish this thing soon, I never will." So in the course of a month I wrote the last 20,000 words, and I had finished my first novel. 

This is just one example of something writing would teach me about myself over the next five years: I have a "binge" personality. I'm a binger. I work most effectively when I can focus all my energy on one thing until I finish that thing. Whether it's drafting, revising, reading a novel, dishes, laundry, bathrooms, floors, making dinner... I do things best when I do them one at a time, usually in short, quick bursts.

So, in April 2016 we found out I was pregnant again. I'd had two miscarriages between that pregnancy and my last birth, so I was understandably nervous. That May I went to the Storymakers writing conference, and I had been ready to jump into querying again, but getting pregnant changed that. I realized that I wouldn't be able to fully focus on my writing career, my future in that arena, until I was totally done having kids.

Reminder: I'm a binger. I love my kids, and I want to be the best mom I can be for them. Having a baby requires an incredible amount of dedication of the physical, mental, and emotional variety. Before that pregnancy in 2016, my older boys were old enough that I could be a good mom and a focused writer. But adding more babies to the mix, I knew, would change the dynamic entirely. I needed my focus to be on my family for a time, and writing needed to be set aside.

This led me to thinking about my family, my future, and what I wanted for myself. I remember talking to Brandon during that pregnancy and asking him, with tears in my eyes, "Is it selfish of me to want to be done having kids so I can focus on my dreams?"

And, bless this wonderful man, he said, "Of course not."

So we talked about our family and how many kids we thought were waiting to join our family, (I won't go into detail on this but we're very spiritual people and believe our children were waiting to come to us) and we knew there was at least one more after the one I was carrying, possibly two. We decided then to just have those babies close together and get them all here as soon as possible, so we could get past the difficult times quickly, and be able to focus on raising these tiny humans.

And that is why, in July 2017, we announced another pregnancy. But there was a hitch: was this the last one, or not? I spent that pregnancy worrying about whether I was supposed to have another baby or not, and it was a cause of great stress for me. Brandon and I talked through it many times, but we could never quite come to a decision.

Baby Fuzz
It wasn't until Baby Fuzz was born at the beginning of this month that I knew: I was done. I needed to be done. My body and mind felt worn out, stretched thin. I told Brandon this, and he felt the same. As we were driving away from the hospital he jokingly said it felt like we had leveled-up somehow with this decision. Like a weight had been lifted, and we were entering a new stage of parenthood. Instead of adding children, we could now focus on raising them.

As this decision settles in, I find myself feeling many conflicting emotions. Relief, doubt, excitement, fear, anticipation, nerves. But overall is a sense of peace and hope, that now, soon, I will be able to focus on my writing again. And more specifically, my writing career.

So this post is meant to say a few things. That our family is finally complete, that I feel like my waiting stage is nearly over, and that when it comes to my writing career I hope I get to begin again soon. I know so many writers who can do both: be pregnant, have babies, and write and release books like it's their superpower, but that's not me. I'll spend this year focused on my babies, slowly getting back into my work, and before too long I'll be fully back in the game again.

Just to be clear: I love my family. I love my husband. I love my kids. I wouldn't be who I am without them. They love me, and they support me in all these decisions. And just because this was my journey, doesn't mean it'll be the same for others. I just hope that if there's another writer out there struggling the way I did, waiting, wondering, feeling down, that I can grant them a sliver of hope. It will all work out. Just keep dreaming, keep writing, keep moving forward. Your time will come.

Thanks for sticking around, guys <3
-DC

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