Good morning and happy New Year!
I know it’s a little late to be wishing you a happy New Year, but better late than never, right?
I had a smashing first post of the year written and waiting to post on 1 January, and then…
…And then my life was shattered and, it felt, my dreams.
On New Year’s Eve, I left the house for no more than twenty minutes… and returned to a house that had been burgled.
I was devastated, numb, and so very angry with God or the universal consciousness or whoever runs this universe. It seemed as if, no matter what I did to help myself, something outside my control would destroy it. My PC was stolen – along with all the books I had started writing. I lost everything I wrote on Legends of Origin, Book 4: Beyond Orion. I lost three years of research on another book. For a few weeks, I thought I had also lost Wizard of Ends, Book 3, but thankfully I had worked on that in the last few days before the robbery and had saved it to email. I lost work templates and documents for three companies. I lost over a year of work for one client. I lost all my baby and personal pictures, other than the handful I had posted on Facebook and emailed to friends and family. Book covers, promotional material, blog posts for my company… So much lost… It left me shattered and feeling as if my very soul had been raped.
For the last two months, I’ve been demotivated and unable to write. Every time I sit down hoping to continue with Wizard of Ends, my mind shut down, as if my creativity had been stolen too. It doesn’t help that I am oh so short on time. We are still trying to recover from the loss. Yes, I had back-ups – on my laptop and a few USB sticks… all of which were also stolen in the robbery. Insurance took over a month to replace all our stolen items, and then, because we did not have proof of the expensive PC equipment we had, they replaced our jacked up PCs with entry level junk. Insurance paid out for many of the stolen items, but not nearly enough to replace them.
It’s taken me this long to motivate myself to write my first blog post of the year. For a few weeks, I was so demotivated that I didn’t believe I would ever again write to publish, and perhaps not at all. Now, I know I will – because it is not only my passion, but part of what makes me the person I am; thus, without writing and sharing my work, I am an incomplete slab of misery.
Then there’s the time it took to recover what I could from email and friends/family. I have only just recovered the last of what I can. What I had filled almost 2TB of HDD space. What I recovered did not fill a 2GB USB stick. I’m sure you can imagine how upsetting this was, and it sent me spiralling into depression – something some of you already know I battle with when things get too tough.
Thankfully, there is a silver lining (although there are still many days and moments where it feels as if the silver lining is not worth it). The money insurance paid that isn’t near enough to replace the stolen items is now being used to increase security and to toddler-safe our garden. Finally, I can put a timeframe on when my daughter can safely play in our backyard 🙂
I have decided that I will no longer pre-write blog posts to keep my blog busy three times a week. I do not have it in me – emotionally or time-wise – to do that again. I also probably won’t have time to write three blog posts a week like you are used to (which is why I pre-wrote six months’ worth of blog posts, all of which were lost in the theft). However, you can rest assured that my blog will indeed go on, just a little more flexible than before. I still believe that regular blog posts increase visibility and sales, but I can’t say that I’ve experienced any major increase in sales since starting my blog just over a year ago. Thus, I am removing the stress factor and my blog posts will be more sporadic than usual, but, hopefully, more entertaining and relevant too. I will still be sharing guest posts, but am going to be stricter about people following my guidelines, as I no longer have the time or inclination to reformat blog posts that come in a format other than what I requested. Those of you who are waiting for guest posts to be shared, please send me an email reminder along with the details – all my notes were stolen with my PC and I cannot remember who arranged what with me (if you have already emailed me about this since the robbery, you don’t need to do so again; I will get back to you the second I am able). I apologise for the inconvenience.
Of course, I am also looking for fresh guest posts – entertaining topics and relevant to writing and/or reading. Be creative and send me your ideas.
I also have two lots of exciting news that I will share with you shortly – one tomorrow (because I don’t have time to share those details today) and the other once everything is finalised.
Watch this space!