So, a long time ago I told myself I'd never upload a document that wasn't a chapter as a chapter, because it was always a disappointment to see an upload alert without any new actual content, but as you can see, I've had to quite change my position on that matter. Yup.
First of all, I'd like to state that in no way I'm intending to drop this story and leave it unfinished. I've always enjoyed writing it - even the hard parts were really a test of skill, forcing me to get better and adapt and that's an amazing growing experience - but I simply can't at the moment. I feel terribly guilty at leaving you all for so long without any sign of life or what I'm planning to do. The reason for that is simple, I suppose.
Last week, I sort of had a mental breakdown. I've got a history of panic attacks when I'm over-stressed, and I kind of barely avoided having one right before an exam I was supposed to take. I ended up at the student psychologist's instead, hah. I've had another meeting since, and the kind lady-psy I spoke with - diagnosed me, I suppose - with active performance anxiety and perfectionism. To be honest, not much of a surprise, but what did surprise me was how much of a relief it was to have someone who's a professional, who's got lots of experience dealing with those kinds of things, state those things and just, I dunno, confirm that I'm not just imagining myself a bunch of issues.
Ehm, to give you an idea, basically I feel like I have to be perfect otherwise I'm useless or worthless, but perfect is never good enough.
The past two years I've steadily devoted more and more of my time to uni (because let's face it, that's sort of what you have to do in order to survive, hihi) and I've more and more run into things I might have been able to evade before. I really like going to uni, I like being in a high-pressure environment and do things like write papers and attend classes and study, and just because I like it so much I'm going to extend my study another year, take less classes and start training to deal with anxiety. So ehm, that's actually a good thing, I think :)
The above isn't meant to be an excuse, but I would like to think it's an explanation of why I haven't found the time to update since April (that was before paper deadlines, heh). I take anything important very seriously, and this story is important to me, so I keep trying to produce the best I can (and sometimes that isn't even enough). A consequence of that is that eventually you start liking what you do less and the motivation to work on it slowly dies out, which is a bit of a problem.
I also kind of got into a lot of other fandoms (blame Spider-Man: Homecoming for my re-newed interest in MCU over summer, heh). Part of my processing power's also occupied with working on my own original concept. It's a story I've been working on for almost twelve years now, it's changed hugely since I was 11 but I love the world-building :D
Anyways, the whole point of this is to say that yes, I reaffirm my promise to finish this story but no, I can't at the moment. I won't, to be more precise. I'm prioritising my health (mental and physical), and I hope you can all understand that. Part of why I feel so guilty for not updating and not updating you all is because the support I've gotten for this story is immense and it's really been like a candle in a dark room, it always makes me really happy when I think about it. I'm really, really thankful for all the support I've gotten up to this point, so - you're all really amazing and I love you! It's just amazing to know that so many people read this story and loved it, so thank you so very much for that! :) 3
I'd like to end this wee update bit with some rather hopeful news. I've long been wanting to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those not in the know), though in a semi-unofficial capacity since you're supposed to start and finish a new project of 50k, I think. In any case, depending on where I am the coming November (mentally, tbh) I'd like to take the chance to see if I can finish this story in a sort of personal NaNoWriMo! I'd then update it in weekly updates, after someone'd been able to look it over, possibly ;) I'll let you all know again if that's possible!
So update on the situation with this story around November 2017! I'll let you all know what I'm going to do then. I'm afraid that it's a conditional promise (to finish ALOL in NaNoWriMo) because I can't predict in what sort of headspace I'll be and if I will be able to write at all. I'm sorry to say that until I know exactly how I'll proceed, I'm going to tag this story with 'discontinued until further notice', because you all deserve at least that much honesty from me, especially towards new readers.
Thank you for your time and I hope you're all well!