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  • Winter has always been my favorite time of year. My mom died in December of 2008, and ever since then winter has transformed into a time of sadness. It's an awful cycle because I still look forward to the snow, the cold, the midnight walks on empty streets. But there's a ghost following me now, weighing me down. Last year was one of the worst winters on record for Oklahoma, and school was canceled for a solid week. This year, we've had two bouts of snow, neither of which lasted for more than a day. I have to admit that I am disappointed... but I can't help but wonder if this is why I have been happier in recent days, now that spring and summer are the times when I am happiest because of my job at a camp.

    Today I read the words of an idol of mine, Neil Gaiman. I have been in a slump, as I finished writing one book a few months ago and now I'm not certain which project to start out on. I did not seek out his advice, as doing so has never helped me write when writing seemed impossible, but it appeared on his Tumblr so I followed the link.

    "One word after another. That’s the only way that novels get written and, short of elves coming in the night and turning your jumbled notes into Chapter Nine, it’s the only way to do it."

    This is a sentiment that I've heard in many forms from many authors, and one that I agree with. My own mantra is that any words are better than no words. But I have been struggling for all of my writing career with this notion, that I do not write enough, that I wait for the right moment to strike me. I've gotten a lot done this way, but I am always taunted by the potential of what I could do, if I followed through on my beliefs.

    After reading this statement, I realized that despite everything I have been making excuses for myself. Not writing is not writing no matter what. So I started work on my next book. There's no point waiting for the right day; today is that day, if I make it so.

    The winter is over in Oklahoma, but it's been an illuminating time despite the lack of snow to brighten up the sky.
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