I’ve always been a bit obsessed with this term. Always wanted to write a book with that title, but it seemed overdone, from the famous Taylor Swift song, to the new movie, and a million books in between. Still, the simplicity of those two words contain a massive amount of meaning. And endless hope. Heartache, too. But buckets of hope.
Since 2012 when The Marriage Bargain exploded, I’ve been on a pathway to success that humbles me. After all, how often does a twenty year dream in the making finally happen? I’m also a bit of a workaholic – my past is full of reasons why—so it didn’t take much to push myself to write as many books at the highest quality possible. It’s also the damn voices that never stop in my head.
But after my last novel was written, I decided to take an actual week off for everything else. Besides the never ending list of emails, family things I’ve put off, and actual cooking in my kitchen, I took a self imposed break for a change. This is quite different from the breaks I usually take, in the middle of a book where things are falling apart and I’m freaking out and forgot again how I do this and end up in my living room watching endless series of reality television on BRAVO and eating nonstop. No, this time, my vacay was planned. I’d troll the internet without guilt, watch movies, READ for pleasure, go shopping, buy shoes, and play Scrabble with my parents.
Besides the amazing books I read and loved, I watched some great movies. But one of them wrecked me. I mean, this movie, reached inside my soul and tore it out and made me examine everything about life, and love, and who I was, and the type of stories I wanted to write. The emotion I wanted to give to my readers. Yeah, sure, I had PMS but I’ve also learned in my fab middle age years that PMS is TRUTH time. In other words, if something keeps popping up during that time, it’s because emotions need to be dealt with. They’ll keep bugging you on a monthly basis until you do deal with them. So, I was pretty much ripe to go a bit deeper, and within the mess, is always the GOLD.
Anyway, I digress. The movie stars my boyfriend Adam Levine (MY boyfriend Kristen Proby, not yours) and Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. Simple, brilliant, painful. It’s about passion. For music. For beauty. For meaning. For love.
The soundtrack is full of rich tones and words that haunt me. Stripped down, I cried while I watched the movie and listened to the songs on the soundtrack, and remembered those early years where emotions I felt were so raw and real, they spilled out of me. They’re still there. Just a bit more civilized and contained.
But that’s the treasure I need to tap to write a GREAT book. Not a middle of the road book, or a safe book that may have commercial success. I want to write great books. Readers deserve it. I’ll fail a lot. But if I can get a few of them that don’t fail, I’ve done my job.
By getting away from the computer, I re-tapped all those exciting things in life that make writers want to write. Talking with others rather than texting via phone. Playing board games and reading with my kids instead of the endless cycle of homework, dinner, putting them to bed, and the mechanics of life. Watching a movie for pure pleasure, open to the experience. Reading great books with no target of critiquing, blurbing, or learning. Driving in the car and listening to Taylor Swift or Rob Thomas or Maroon Five and singing loud and off key. Having lunch with my mother.
Re-stocking, and re-filling the well.
Because honestly, if we just keep writing book after book without taking that breath in between to enjoy where we are, we’re missing the good parts. The right now good parts.
It’s Nanowrimo month. I plan to write a lot and dive into the sequel of Beyond Me, called Chasing Me. I’m leading a write in at the Wallkill Library on Tuesday, November 11th at 6:30pm if anyone wants to join me for inspiration and some writing.
But today, I’m taking one more breath. I’m full of new ideas, and plans, and goals to write amazing books. I’ll get there.
With each new book we write, or challenge we face, or heartbreak we deal with, we have a chance to Begin Again. The best part? If we fail spectacularly, so what? We get to do it again. That’s a gift not to be missed.
Here’s the song that I’m obsessed with and plan to write a book that I hope to equal the lyrics.
Has there been a book or a movie or song that affected you deeply and changed the way you thought of life? Share with me!
I wish everyone a happy and fruitful November.
Writing is as much a discipline as athletics and I’m glad you pointed out how it was necessary to step away from the keyboard and come back to create purposely. I think it’s hard to find that purpose until you’ve been writing, writing, writing anyway. Congrats on your accomplishments.
I love your post Jen! I love your books, and I will be waiting to read the next book you have for me s a reader, that book you talk about in this post!
Meanwhile, I ant to see that movie 😉
Why do I love reading your books?….hhhmmm….let me count the ways!
Even after reading this, I always learn…learning is knowledge and knowledge is power. It’s so nice to be able to express your feelings through words and be able to relate to people out there…a few, a hundred, a thousands, perhaps more. So thank you for taking your time to express your thoughts and your feelings. There are many songs and books that affect me and I’ve yet to find one that would be an awakening to my soul, my being…
You’re right….it’s always nice to “Begin Again”…we learn from mistakes and we only get better! I can’t wait for the finished product! Until your next book…
I really needed to hear this today, Jennifer. Great reminder, great inspiration, and great idea! Thanks.
For me that’s song is Skyscarper, For the love of the daughter and Let it go. All by Demi Lovato
You and me are on the same wave length. I’m older, been married 40 years and feeling so much how I would like to “begin again”. So Ive been Searching for Meaning within my life and trying to write it down but hard for me not knowing where to begin and end. Jennifer, your Marriage to a Billionaire series has definitely helped me in so many ways. And I would have to say Fifty Shades has impacted me not the BDSM but the love story within. And your Marriage to Billionaire came so close to Fifty Shades, that I can see u accomplishing the same.
Thank you so much Rebecca, to know I’ve touched you in some way means the world to me!
Hey there wait a minute I thought Adam was my boyfriend lol! Jen it is good you took vacay from writing. I see you always posting how busy you are and all your writing deadlines, you need time for you! Now you will come back refreshed and I have even more ideas I can’t wait for the new books! I haven’t seen the movie yet (same on me) but just the words Begin Again, are powerful words. However I have to get out there and see that movie asap!!! Keep doing what you do cause everyone loves it including me!!!! 🙂
Gasp! How have I missed this film?! Thanks so much for the heads up, Jen. Have put the dvd on my Christmas list but am looking forward to your ‘Begin Again’ book even more! So glad you’ve managed to take some time out, you work too hard! xxx
The books that really affected me are the Earth’s Children Series. Never really considered how much inate intelligence had to be present to “discover” the things that made life easier!
I will have to check that out Karen thanks!