Year of the Leader?

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2019 was to be the year of the Leader. I would try new things that would lead me in new directions. I quickly found out it was 2019 that would lead me. After the flu, which I’m still not 100 percent, deaths, other issues, and loss, I found myself burnt out and rethinking writing and life. I’ve tried adding new things to my life to regain that spark, and it lasts for a bit then this feeling of doubt creeps back in. It applies to most aspects of my life and has bled into my writing or my lack of it.

Yes, I still enjoy walking in nature while taking all the beauty and peace in, and spending time with family but something still nags at me. Swimming with the turtle was a spiritual experience on an elevated level but still—something is off.  I can’t quite place my finger on what it is.

Usually, I have a book ready to release this time of year. It sits waiting for me to edit. I haven’t found that connection to it yet, which I hope will be there in the next go-around. So, I’m waiting to tackle that and save up for professional editing. I’ve written some poetry but lack the enthusiasm to do it more often—like when I’m on the back of the Harley. I’ve been working on a short story collection but walk away from a story when I can’t figure out what’s missing.

That is what I’m feeling. Something is missing. The joy of writing that I started with has become more about learning all the rules and proper ways to do everything. It took over my creative side and left more doubt about what I was doing creatively. I know people will either like or dislike what I write. I’ve always been okay with that, but I have to like what I’m doing.

My life has become more a list of things to do rather than looking forward to exploring. It’s been too much news and less creating my own. Then nothing gets done because I’m trying too hard in the wrong places. My mind is in a fog, and that bleeds over into my responsibilities. I no longer can keep track of everything in my head like I used to. I won’t mention how expensive that can end up being.

So, at a strange crossroads, I look forward to with more than a bit of dread. All the negativity that our society has been swimming in has flooded my household. Yes, bad things happen, but how I react to them is my only control over that.

I ponder my questions. Do I want to keep writing, blogging, and socially interacting? Do I want to keep learning and improving? How do I survive my demons which flow into all aspects of my life? Will my health improve, or will I spend most days laying down working and then exercising only to have to rest again from that? Do I push on and plaster that smile on my face and hope it passes? Will I have to suffer as I age like I’ve seen many times?

This is where life led me this year. To the point of wondering, thinking, and having to deal with all that goes with that. Going back to what started me writing and then publishing. Joy. Expressing and not worrying about where it was going or why I was doing it. Intuition. This year led me to silence those critics internal and external that have almost muzzled me. I have forgotten to take care of me—all of me—spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

I have reverted into old bad habits. This is where the leader came in for me this year. It would be a year I lead me back to…. me.

Going forward, I won’t worry about my self-imposed deadlines, that I can’t keep track of everything like I used to, or what my body can no longer do. I will write the things that bring me joy that hopefully will do the same for others. This journey will reflect in my writing like it always has as I embrace that inner spark my child always knew existed. I will finish my next book when life gently lands back to that place again, where joy is always waiting.

Year of the leader? Yes.


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Embrace your inner joy! D. L. Finn



35 thoughts on “Year of the Leader?”

  1. Thanks for sharing your ‘suffering’ in 2019… I’m sorry you’re feeling so low, but, remember, all artists of any season must share not only their joy but their agony… Write about it, throw darts of anger at it… It’s in all of us – ‘the agony and the ecstasy’! You will be just fine, dear Lady Denise… 🙂 Red hearts to you!

    1. Thank you, Billy. You are very right we all do go through the ups and downs and a lot of it finds it way into our work. It does make for good reading, but its sure hard to get to the other side sometimes, but I know its possible. Red hearts right back to you. 🙂

  2. So sorry for all that has taken your time and energy from writing. I can relate to your feeling of something “missing”, of being aware of a lack of joy, or lack of connection to a story. I’ve been struggling with that since last year. On the bright side, I feel it returning. I’m so glad it’s returning to you as well.

    Take care and write on!

    1. Thanks, Julie. I know you’ve talked about your struggle with this second book. It’s hard being in the middle of that and I’m so happy to know you are pulling out of it. I think I’m headed in the right direction, too. Here’s to better writing days!

    1. Thank you, John. I will continue my journey with the help of such amazing fellow authors such as yourself.

    1. Thank you, Balroop. Yes, I know its just life’s lessons that need to be learned and I am…I agree about setting those goals they do impose artificial stress in our lives. I do like the idea of being a free bird, that is how I started out. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I will head over and read it.

    2. I read your beautiful words, Balroop, but couldn’t leave a comment. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated reading it!

      1. A blogging guru’s advice is to close comments on old posts. I followed it when I started blogging.
        Thanks you Denise, I appreciate your efforts of reaching out.

  3. Hi Denise, thank you for sharing. I feel the same this year.

    After my sister passed away when we went to Hong Kong for my nephew’s wedding in January, somehow the energy left me. It has been nine months. It may not totally relate to her death, but something about death that creeps in. I didn’t do the posts as regular as I did before. I lost the momentum to check on other blogs . I have writing projects but my brain is not free. I was doing counseling but is taking a leave this year. I hope to feel better and do better soon.

    Just to let you know you’re not alone.

    1. Thank you, Miriam. That is one wonderful thing about our writing community is we are all there for each other. I’m very sorry for the loss of your sister and how your year has gone. Sometimes its hard to get past some things in life, I fully understand. Hard to find that spark again. I know it will all pass eventually, but its hard to do our everyday stuff in the mean time. I think you summed it up perfectly that your brain is not free. I hope you find that freedom again. I appreciate you sharing this with me. Sending hugs.

  4. Your post was very interesting to me, Denise. I felt this way about my day job, I still do from time to time. The ambition and enthusiasm I held for it (I work in corporate finance) has lessened and I find the stress and constant need to prove myself over and over again (especially being a woman in a male dominated field) wearying. This was when I started writing in 2016 and this has been a wonderful release for me. I don’t read to much on writing and how to do it, I just go ahead and write. I have learned how to improve my stories, with active tense and dialogue, but I don’t allow this to rule my writing. Maybe you are a bit tired and need a break, or maybe you need to just let it go and write without worrying about the detail. You can put that in afterwards when you edit. These are just my thoughts, of course.

    1. I am always happy to hear your thoughts, Robbie:) Your job sounds challenging and I’m glad you found writing as your release. I watch my daughter navigate that Male dominated world, too. She also is writing too for release. I do need to go back and recapture that excitement. We all have our own approach to this and I guess we each need to find it. Happy writing:)

  5. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I like the title and message: year of the leader. Just this past week I identified what has been causing me some minor health issues and loss of personal time just for me. When I wrote a list of all the things I was doing, I knew I had to re-evaluate my choices of activities, committees, and volunteering. Then I put them in order of importance to me.
    I have withdrawn from three committees, declined two volunteering opportunities, and prioritized my activities: writing, family, friends, and fun. Today I will clear my desk and re-organize it. I have renewed a commitment to do my daily meditation and the 5 Tibetan Rituals.
    Denise, you are an excellent writer, a joy to know through RRBC, and an inspiration. Yes, embrace your inner child and your inner joy.

    1. Thanks, Karen. I feel the same way about you, too:) I’m sorry to hear about your health issues, but very glad you figured them out and can address them. You are so right that we sometimes have to reevaluate our lives and see what’s important to us. Meditation should be a priority but it seems to fall away when its needed most. I am bringing it back into my life, too. We can’t volunteer and be there for everyone, you are so right. Keeping your writing space organized another great endeavour. I have a lot to rethink myself to get back on my path again. Thank you for sharing this, Karen. Sending lots of hugs.

  6. Oh my goodness, Denise! Your post expresses SO much of what I have been going through this year as well. I started out the year with a goal to publish a new book. Well, I tell myself that four short stories counts as a book, but the truth is that I let doubt stop me from going forward when I couldn’t get a publisher interested in the White Rune Series, and my pocketbook stops me from self-publishing. I too spend the biggest part of my day struggling to keep up with all the social media obligations that I’ve entangled myself in, and I tell myself that if I want to stay relevant, I have to keep up. I started working on a non-fiction book with great enthusiasm, The Next Chapter, to tell my journey into widow-hood and how I have had to totally reinvent myself with the idea that it would be helpful to other women facing a life alone after the death of a spouse. But, self-doubt has stopped me again. After all, who am I to publish a self-help book just because I lived it. I have no credentials. Heck, I don’t even have a college degree of any kind. And, on the health issues, you know I’ve had my share of that craziness lately and I have come to the realization that I cannot do what I could do 10 years ago and I have to slow down. So, my dear friend, where do we go from here? You said it. By finding what it is that brings joy and do that. You are in my thoughts and I’m sending good vibes your way. Thank you for baring your soul! Hugs!

    1. Thank you Jan for sharing your struggles, too. This seems to be the year of self discovery. I understand the pocketbook and publishing. I wish I could self edit, but I have no skill for that and don’t want to add to poorly published books either. Tough place to be since I think publishers are missing out on the true talent in the indie author world. I am not ready to give up yet though either. An answer will present itself, I know. I think living something does make us an expert over being taught in a class. Not that education isn’t important, it is, but so is real life. We can only share what our insights are. Your story was so important to be heard, I’m glad you wrote it and I can imagine your new non fiction sitting in the hands of someone who needs it. Honestly I do better focusing on the spiritual side over what is considered logical or firm reality. It doesn’t make sense at first but it does work out. Social media is time consuming but I’m not ready to give up on it yet. I’ve met too many amazing people through it you included! Maybe we get some of the answers we seek this year or soon. One thing I’m very glad of is having such a supportive community where we can figure this out. Sending you lots of hugs and lots of positive energy your way. Xo

  7. Life is rougher some years. Hard to believe that it can become much better. But your inner leader took over and this paragraph feels perfect and beautiful: “I will write the things that bring me joy that hopefully will do the same for others. This journey will reflect in my writing like it always has as I embrace that inner spark my child always knew existed. I will finish my next book when life gently lands back to that place again, where joy is always waiting.”
    p.s.: My new book, Twigs in My Hair, was almost complete 5 years ago, and that took some doing, as I was recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident. So what happened to the book? Life happened and all I could think about was the health of a beloved family member; I put the book aside. It’s finally out now and for several reasons, it feels like the perfect time. My best wishes to you!

    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I’m glad you took the time to recover and support your family member. I hope you are both fully recovered now. Yes sometimes life has other plans that we can’t see at the time and it does work out eventually. I wish you a ton of success and joy with the release of your book! Thank you for sharing your experience it struck a chord in me. Hugs!

  8. Yay for you, Denise!!! It seems that you have gone back to the joy of writing and “the devil may care”! It’s so hard when we inflict so many rules and limits on our creativity. That’s what editors are for. Let them work while you be the visionary!

    1. Thanks, Linda:) I got some poetry written today and just let it flow. I didn’t self edit…it was nice! True. Here’s be us all being visionaries!

  9. Your words helped clarify my own doubts and fears about what fate may have waiting in the wings, my friend. The Health challenges of 2019 have caught me up in a downward spiral of self doubt. My resilience and determination to move forward began to falter and I found myself walking through a thick fog with no light shining its way through to guide me. I felt frozen in place and unable to move. Each day it felt much like being trapped in a revolving door, constantly moving in circles and leading nowhere. I searched my emotions for the Joy that had gone into seclusion until I grew exhausted. Then a few months ago that joyous spark reignited. I began to write again and the words of my new book flowed freely. I believe that I had come to a place in my life that heralded a fork in the road. I don’t recall making the conscious choice of which fork in the road to follow. There was no stark moment of self realization, It simply happened and I’ve learned to accept and be grateful for it. I’m sending the warmest thoughts and gentle hugs to you my friend. I know that marvelous spark of creativity you possess and the surge of Joy it brings with it will find you again soon. 💕

  10. Thank you, Soooz. You inspirational as always! That fog can really dim the lights we need in life. I am positive your best work is to come and glad joy found you again. That dark place is no place to visit for very long, but it seems we need to make a stop to move forward. I think that’s how it works, Joy just happens. It showed up in my poetry today and I was a bit relieved. Thank you for the hugs I’m sending them right back to you. Thanks always for your support xo

  11. How very difficult. Burn out? I’ve never had that but read many posts about it. I do know I reached a point where I expunged negative people from my life. Just stopped relating to them. I lost quite a few friends but what did I really lose? And recently I don’t follow the news. It is always hyperbole. I don’t need that.

    I wish you the best, Denise!

    1. Hi Jacqui! Sometimes we have to walk away from all the negative. I think you are right what are we losing anyways if we remove ourselves from negativity. I keep saying I’m going to stay away from the news, too. Just listen to the weather. it’s become very frustrating and very dividing.

      I’m finding my way back, thanks. Burn out and stress mixed I’m sure with a few other things thrown in. Today I focused on poetry and felt like I was finding that peace and joy I’ve been looking for. Thank you for your wishes, they are very much appreciated. xo

  12. I’m still doing a been there, done that kind of feeling. I think it is due to just an overload of loss and pain (all types) in my life. Allow yourself to heal, and as you heal the rest of 2019 will become better, and 2020 will be a great year. Having lost children, it is a slow process, and one in which I flip from different stages of grief due to the nature of the loss. Still, good days happen, and they will for you as well. Love, hugs and prayers.

    1. I can’t imagine losing a child and the pain, Mary. I hope you are feeling better soon.

      Thank you I’m hoping 2020 is the one:) Good days are definitely ahead.

  13. Denise, 2019 sounds for you much like 2018 did for me. It was one thing after another with illnesses, uncertainty about my job. You name it. But I made it through. Sometimes we have to go through tough times to appreciate the good.

    1. Very true, Joan it does make us appreciate the good. I’m glad this year is an improvement for you:)

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