When I was in elementary school, we played Jax during recess. We all carried a little rubber ball and some metal game pieces that were like 3-D X’s with an extra leg. After tossing a handful of jax onto the sidewalk, we would bounce the ball. Before the ball came back down, we had scoop up one jax. On the second bounce of the ball, we aimed for 2 jax, and so on. The quickest fingers, the largest hand, and the best bouncer was the player who won. I’ve felt like I’m playing a game of Jax, but with more important parts than small metal game pieces.
I shared that I’m close to finishing my 2022 projects. After a few more days of procrastination (it’s always best to name and face our obstacles), I returned to SG, the holiday short story. I got a flash of what will happen in the story, so now I need to record it. Of course, I still don’t know how it will unfold, and that’s the creative piece that I both love and find uncertainty with. I tell myself that I need to have it done well before December 15 (highly doubtful I will meet that deadline) so I can get it to a beta reader, do the edits, and complete all the million steps before it’s actually published. Jax number one.
A beta reader eyed TR for a second time and returned it. I’ve had a couple of epiphanies since I sent it off. One, it’s damn hard to write a prequel after two books in the series have been written. Second, since my books are romantic suspense—characters meet, live through danger, have a happily ever after—I don’t know have to have a romance before the romance happens. This complicates all sorts of things down the road. Third, I’ve since read two prequels done well. One was set up perfectly. The other was a romance (the parents of the main character) when the author’s series doesn’t include a romance. TR still needs… something. Jax number two.
Since I’ve more than dabbled with projects and a schedule for 2023, part of me was excited about this next year. And then I read a piece of news that threw me into comparisonitis. I lost a day to a downward spiral of negative mental thoughts. Jax number three, four, and five.
There are more bits and pieces, where I’ve tried to create solutions before problems present themselves. As with every moment, it comes down to peace and acceptance or fisticuffs with my inner critic (and about more than just my writing). Jax numbers six through ten is me wrangling a mindset that allows me to write (TR, SG, Patreon short story for December 1 and January 1, the next episode of DZ) and do other life tasks (new jobs, new technology, new life circumstances) without bouncing my ball over the fence or up on the roof… some place out of reach. Maybe my next epiphany could give me a way to have quicker fingers, a larger hand, or the ability to better bounce the ball.