The Hangover - Author Jennifer Rodewald
Catchy title, right? I know… clickbait. But not really. Today, I opened a file that has been languishing on my laptop since December of 2016. The one I’ve ignored because it didn’t fit my project schedule for 2017–the year I dedicated to my dystopian trilogy. I opened that book, half written. It’s a women’s fiction, my original brand. A book several of my readers have told me they’re waiting for. I’m waiting for it too… I opened it. And my mind went back to Braxton and Eliza. To Hannah and Quinn and Tristan and Skye. This surprised me, to be honest. I thought I was ready to move on. Ready for the next story. But I opened that file, and looked back. And it wasn’t a smile that settled in my heart when I did. I guess because opening the waiting file of that stalled work-in-progress meant that the dystopian journey was done. I finished it, and now it’s done… To be honest, writing that trilogy was MUCH harder than I had anticipated. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the reason exactly, but the work The Uncloaked and its companion books demanded was a bit like thinking “I’m going for a nice hike today,” only to find out that really, I was climbing a fourteener (I’ve done that before, a few times, so I do actually know). 🙂 The themes of those books, the world building, the continuity, the demand to keep up momentum, the release schedule… it was all just so MUCH MORE than I thought it’d be. And, if I dare to be honest here, I found the process exhausting. I truly thought that I would be relieved to be done. Ready to move on–to go back to where I’ve established myself in women’s fiction. But… Don’t get me wrong. I’m looking forward to the next story, to getting back into Brandi and Ethan’s book and seeing what kind of grace blows me away there. It’s not that I don’t want to move forward. It’s just that… Well, maybe–surprisingly–I’m not actually ready. There’s a line in the movie Luther (I’m not sure if it’s authentic to Martin Luther’s story or not, but in was profound in the movie) that is chasing circles in my mind… “Sometimes we teach best what we need to learn most.” Perhaps that’s why I’m not ready to move on yet. I’m still swimming in the depths of Braxton’s life. The questions he and Eliza wrestled with– Will you stand? Do you know who you are (so that you can stand)? What will you do with what you believe?–they’re still pressing against me. The answer still not satisfactory. The challenge still not met. Some things, I suppose, are intended to linger. Full saturation is required. The difference between production and completion. I can’t move on yet. I have this bookish, writerly hangover. But a good one. Even if it means I’m stuck for a time. I guess the work is not done yet after all. That actually makes me smile… For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. –Phil. 1:6, NASB Related