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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Westphal

Bake-On, Bake-Off

Hi! Proof of life here!

I just wanted to drop in to give a little update.

First of all, to all of you Annabelle fans, I say thank you for your support and your supreme patience. I am working on book 2 currently, but unfortunately it is going to be a little while yet before it’s ready for release. I do not have a date, but I promise that you will be the first to know when I do!!

Admittedly, it did take me a while to start working on it. The publishing process for Annabelle was a little slap-dash so I had to spend time getting our girl polished and shiny the way I wanted her before I could fully move on.

There have also been some other things going on (nothing bad, I’m fine, everyone is fine) that have meant I needed to pause my writing process for a while to focus on myself and my own mental and physical health. I really wish I could tell you more, and one day I promise I will drop a classic Annie blog post about this whole journey, but I’m just not ready yet.

I feel a bit like a cake that's only 75% baked. Like I invited everyone to this big party, sent out invites, prepared food, and arranged the perfect party playlist. But then I went to put the cake in the oven and realized it wasn’t preheated or something, so now everyone’s here and ready but we still have to wait a little while before we can have cake. It has to bake. Then it has to cool before we can put the icing on it, otherwise everything is going to be a whole big drippy mess.

It will be worth it in the end, because we get to eat delicious cake, but right now it’s not baked. And anyone who watches bake-off knows you can’t rush a good cake.

Honesty time? It’s super frustrating. It has become part of my identity at this point to be able to have an experience and immediately be able to articulate and create a scaffolding of description and reflection around that experience. Right now, I’m finding it super challenging to do that, which is causing me some distress.

And I’m not just in a space of distress around feeling like I can’t do that in this instance because it means I don’t have anything to share with you lovely people. It’s frustrating to me because I don’t know how to process things I can’t describe. I’m a writer. That’s literally my brand of magic. I feel human things and then I create words about what I feel that trigger a cathartic alchemy, transforming and transmuting feeling and experience into ideas and connection.

But right now I don’t have words except to describe the complete stuckness I feel about not having words about the things I wish I had words about. Ugh.

Additionally, when I’m in the book writing space, the book becomes like a sponge that starts to soak up the creativity from all other areas of my life because it requires so much energy and attention and love. And, being a little feelings chameleon, I can kind of take on the emotions and energies of my characters. So, seen from a different perspective, of course I feel stuck right now. Annabelle feels stuck right now...probably. I don’t want to get into a spoiler alert space so go read the book and you’ll know what I mean.

It could also be all of the above, it could be none of the above, I have no idea. Regardless, I feel better when I engage with my readers so I decided to reach out and engage even though I had no idea what I wanted to say, except to say that I’m not ready to say things that I wish I could say. Yikes.

So hi there. If you’re feeling stuck, I see you. If you feel like you need more time in the oven, I know how you feel. We all deserve to give ourselves time to fully bake.

Am I baking the cake? Am I the cake that needs to be baked? I'm not a perfect person, and it's not a perfect metaphor. All I mean to say is, today I needed to remind ME to give ME some space and grace to be a goopy mess and thought maybe you needed someone to give you space and grace too.

And I promise the cakes we become (or are currently baking???) will be worth the wait.

Big, giant love to you all. Keep on caring for yourselves out there, friends.


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1 Comment

Dec 12, 2022

Dearest Daughterly Author Anya,

I am speechless over your stuckness. If I knew what to say, I would surely say it, but the words will not form. Had I known of your malady I would have said something sooner, that is, if I knew then what to say if I had known you were stuck. Alas, as I am not a writer, my lament over not knowing what to say about your being speechless isn’t nearly as inspired and poetic as your own lament over your stuckness. In fact, you are so good at writing about how you can’t write that I think you may want to stay stuck and just write about that and before long you’ll be wr…

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