Recognition, Reinvention

The past year I’ve been in a process of reinventing myself. It has been a journey into discovering my sense of self worth and what it means to show up and say, “yes” and when it is okay to stay home or say, “no.”


Reinvention meant a personal revolution, it meant turning over and reimagining what my life might look like. Reinvention meant embracing the fact that showing up and saying “yes,” might mean being situations I never imagined I would be, accepting that not everyone will like me (I know, crazy? right), and acknowledging when things go well. It also showed me that by practicing self care (and that meant sometimes saying “no”) I had more energy and was a better Mel.

A major part of my personal revolution is acknowledging when things are actually going okay, accepting and embracing my successes. (I hope you’ll keep in mind that even as I write this, I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of doing this.  Not sure where I picked this up, but I grew up with a sense of just doing good things and keep going. I am overachievy and know this, but nothing is ever good enough and even if it is, I certainly don’t acknowledge it. That would be showing off. And no one wants to be a show off. )


If I look back upon how things have shifted in the last twelve months, I almost don’t recognize my own life. And that is something worthy of attention–perhaps even recognition.

The fact is, when someone asked me recently what I would do to improve my life, or do something different, I realized that I was doing exactly what I set out to do. I am working on my dream project with a dream editor and revving up to submit the next draft in two weeks. I am giving back to my community by teaching English part time, picking up a few freelance social media (answer this Call for Papers) and writing projects and manuscript consultation clients. One of these opportunities allowed me to return to PEI and work with the community. (I plan to write more about that soon.)  I am also volunteering for organizations that I care about and gave two lecture with people I respect, most recently at NeMLA:

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As I enter this next phase–which involves a “to do” list in multiple variations and for multiple tasks–I’m both excited and scared for what will come next. I am at once present and looking forward. Practicing gratitude is a big part, as is recognizing the fear in failing and succeeding. I worry that what I create will fall flat of my own expectations. But. BUT. I am excited to be heading into the writing cave, the next semester, two trips this summer (with a possible third). I am excited to connect with old friends, engage with new ones, and be grateful when it all goes in an entirely different direction than what I had envisioned.

Because, honestly, it is probably better.



About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Literary Book Boyfriends, Talented Friends, Teen lit, Writing, Writing Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Recognition, Reinvention

  1. Elizabeth Epperly says:

    I love the sound of this journey, and I eagerly await more of the footprints.

  2. Sarah says:

    You are an inspiration! So excited to read about your adventures and learn from them–maybe I’ll figure out the reinventing process myself 🙂

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