2020: Embrace the Suck


In military jargon, “Embrace the Suck” means To consciously accept or appreciate something that is extremely unpleasant but unavoidable. Sounds a lot like 2020, doesn’t it?

This year has been hard on everyone. Not just physically and economically, but emotionally too. While I recognize the pandemic and the horrible effects it cast over the world, this post isn’t about that. It’s about recognizing and embracing disappointment.

In January, my calendar burst with exciting plans to travel through Europe. There were places to see, people to visit, and books to research. I lived for this opportunity. But it seemed that 2020 had other plans for me.

Disappointment became my constant companion, following me like a persistent raincloud determined to ruin my mood. Fortunately, I possessed two things that proved my salvation during this time. My family and my writing.

So instead of worrying about what I couldn’t control, I chose to focus on what I could. Between making memories with my husband and kids, I wrote. And I wrote some more. And then I continued to write.

I followed the stories where they led. After years of writing historical romance, I decided to embrace the stories blossoming in my mind and wrote several contemporary romances. Every ounce of disappointment and frustration I poured into these stories. I channeled it, shaping a universe in which I could control this year from hell.

First came A Lockdown Love Affair with Ben and Penelope. Then another idea came, this time for A Holiday Love Affair with Evan and Lucy. It was like a dam had burst inside my mind and I let it consume me.

In August I wrote two short stories which I submitted to Romantic Shorts, a lovely publisher who gave me my very first publication back in 2012. Click HERE to check out their site.

Then in October, I wrote Mistletoe and Mistakes, a short novella that ties into the two books I wrote earlier this year.

National Novel Writing Month came in like a lion on November 1st, but I was prepared for it. I had my Victorian romance outlined and ready. The events and characters coincided with a novel I finished writing last year. I was able to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge with just over 50,000 words, making good headway on the Victorian novel and also writing a short story to share with readers for the upcoming holidays.

Whew! For a year of limitations, I certainly broke free and discovered some very important personal truths.

  1. Don’t worry about what you can’t control.
  2. Unplug for a while and enjoy the sunshine.
  3. Writing is great therapy.
  4. Embrace every moment with those you love.
  5. Disappointment can sometimes be a gift in disguise.

This year was nothing like I expected it to be, and it certainly left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. But, for all its faults, 2020 definitely gave me a new perspective on my own life and my writing.

Darling readers, I hope you find some joy in my stories born during a tumultuous and unpredictable year. While we were forced to embrace the suck, let us not forget that sometimes disappointment can be a blessing in disguise and embrace the potential for growth.

All my love,

Kirsten

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