It took me longer than the average author to write Generation Ex. In some ways, one might say it took my whole life because I first had to experience parental divorce before I could write about it. While that's true, it also took me longer once the book was contracted. Of course I had submitted a proposal, and my publisher had approved the general content and theme, but I still had to find 65,00 clear, concise and compelling words to flesh out the ideas.
Certain parts of the book were more difficult to write because in writing I realized that, although I knew what I needed to do to heal, I hadn't fully put my own advice in action. My editor, the wise Liz Haney, took those opportunities to offer some great advice: "You can't write about life until you live life." Sounds simple, right? But those words gave me such freedom when I was faced with deadlines. They gave me freedom to hang out with my friends, play with my dog, watch a movie or take a nap. They also pushed me to do the hard things, like have some honest, but kind, conversations with those who had hurt me. They pushed me to create new patterns of relating and doing, not only in theory, but in practice. It was the best writing advice--and life advice--I've received.
The last three years have been full of change. On the plus side, I was able to see my first book published. On the more challenging side, sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury has changed every aspect of my life. I'm no longer working full time in the career I loved. I no longer live in the home I was able to afford when I worked. I no longer live alone, for that matter, as I now share a sometimes chaotic home with a very generous family of five. I'm no longer living in Michigan, my home of the last eight years. I've moved to Ohio. I no longer attend the big community church of which I've been a member the last five years. I'm now part of a small but growing house church. But perhaps the biggest change is that I'm no longer completely single, for I've been dating an amazing man for the last six months, and it's safe to say that the next year will bring a whole new set of changes, this time for the MUCH better.
Niels has been the most incredible agent for healing change in my life, not only with my head, but also with my heart. At a time when the pre-injury Jen would have felt the least secure, least worthy, least valuable, God brought along a man who adores me for who I am today. It took a while to believe it, but in the new version of my life, I'm living and learning to love life in the slow lane.
So the posts may be slower in coming these days--much like my thoughts and moments of inspiration. But I'm trusting the Author of my life to keep me going as I simply live life.