Jessica Shelley

storyteller, poet, bookworm

You'll never know unless you try.

Updated: Feb 16

Trying to describe 2018, was like trying to wade through a cloud of smoke. It was a very confusing year for me. But it was also a time of discovery and inner reflection.

I began the new year with the intention to write the novel of my dreams and query agents by December. But due to heaps of fear and its many shape-shifting forms (much like the story that would not stop changing), I didn't even put one single word to a page. Partly because I felt it wasn't ready. So I kept in that borderline stage between plotting and researching. I filled myself up with advice after advice, books on craft, articles on productivity, anything to get me out of the situation I was currently in. And while I have a box of methods and help at my disposal now, nothing educated me more than fear - the fear I did not want to face. The fear of failure. The fear of not being good enough. And, mostly, the fear of making wrong decisions.

But these silly fears held me back from progress. Whilst, I told myself that I wanted it to be perfect and didn't want to make the same mistakes as before (refer to 2017 where I wrote 50k words of a novel but decided to start again because I felt it was not true to who I was, the story I wanted to tell, and my ability as a writer), I paused and stood in limbo with my novel. But I made lots and lots of notes, went on an inner journey to find out who I was as a creator, and came out all the wiser for it.

I know plotting kills my creativity now but that I need a little guidance with that freedom. That to help my inability to make a decision I can write out different ideas and pick from my choices - no restrictions. I know what I am fighting for - the message & rallying cry I seemed to have forgotten along the way. But yet, most importantly, I found myself. I found compassion, self-care and kindness - trailing peace and flow in the process behind them.

I'm grateful that I didn't write the novel last year because I have changed and transformed so much since then. To quote Lewis Carroll 'there's no use going back to yesterday, I was a different person then.'

So, if 2018 was the year for finding and reconnecting with myself, 2019 is the year I put all that knowledge into practice. And finally, step out of my own way, and go after my dreams full speed ahead.

Recently, I was in Wilkinson's and discovered a beautiful notebook which had a special quote. It said 'you'll never know unless you try.' This sentence holds dear to my heart because every good thing that has ever happened to me within my lifetime has been the result of that exact sentence. (Stories for another time.) Now the notebook sits on my desk as a reminder, that 2019 is the year of trying. Of believing. Of having faith over fear. Of carrying hope within my heart.

One of my main projects this year, is to create this blog, that you, wonderful you, are reading right now. I want to document my writing process and journey, in hopes that it may help clear the fog for others who may be just as confused as I once was. But to also, see evidence of my progress. Because along this journey, there are so many ups and downs, that it's important to record them all. Otherwise, little things that may have held great significance along the way, may go unmissed and cast aside for the next thing - the next thought. So, I want to catch each moment like butterflies. To reflect on each moment, like a photograph album. And to pass anything I may learn on this path to you, like a heartfelt message in a bottle.

I hope your 2019 is filled with equal parts beauty and lessons. That faith and courage is your compass. And that all your dreams come true.

Here's to 2019 and trying!

Namaste friend, from one creator to another.

Designed with love and intention by Jessica Shelley