Writing is a challenge. It is so much more than simply words on paper. It’s making those words into a coherent story that people care about.

Why on earth would I write, when I’m a full time mom, full time army officer and full time wife, house keeper, veterinarian (all of our pets are another story)? Why would I add one more thing to my already full plate and then go and try to sell it so that it becomes something that I have to do if I want to see a dime of it?

I write because I have to. Because at the end of the day, the stories are in my head and this is something that I can do down the road for years to come.

Coming to Iraq has impacted my writing. Foremost being that I’ve had more time to write this year than I’ll probably ever have again. I’ve used that time wisely (I hope) by practicing my craft daily. This has enabled me to develop certain practices, such as writing every day or editing my stuff in Word rather than Scrivener, where I write. Of the year I spent here, I can honestly say that there was only about a month total where I did not write every single day.

I refuse to believe that I won’t sell. For me, it’s a matter of when, not if. While that may be wishful thinking, I choose to look at it as positive thinking.

I have a new company commander now and it feels like that fresh start when I first start a new project. Clean slate, able to do what needs to get done to tell the story. There will inevitably be rough periods, just like the process of writing a new book, when I step back and try to figure out what the heck happened to get me where I am right now. But that is all part of the process.

I’ve felt smothered of the last few months in my professional capacity. This was part due to my own stubbornness and feeling that I knew what right was supposed to be but also due to lack of communication and a lack of a willingness to communicate. Writing is communication between me and my characters. When I don’t listen to what they’re telling me, I stagnate. When I’m not willing to push the boundaries and challenge them, the story stagnates.

So here’s to new beginnings and fresh starts. In writing and in life!