Posts Tagged ‘not writing’

Sometimes being a writer means not writing

Family portrait

I didn’t write a word in March. Other responsibilities took priority — mostly looking after my daughter while my husband finished a huge contract. At first I was cranky about the not-writing part. I’m so close to finishing my novel, The Glass Doll. I’ve reached the point where I just want it done and out the door so I can move on to the next thing.

Now I see that the timing was right for a break. I’ve been promising myself some downtime as soon as I finish my novel. Except, it keeps not being finished, and I keep pushing myself a little harder, and a little harder. When the demands of my husband’s contract grew, I knew this was the opportunity I needed to rest my brain and get some perspective.

Something I never allow myself time for is thinking. About what I want to write next, about what kind of writer I want to be and why I write stories in the first place. I’ve done a lot of that kind of thinking this month and it’s taken me to some surprising places (more on that in another post).

Another thing I did this month was I read through the third draft of The Glass Doll. It’s not done yet, but it has grown into something that actually resembles the shiny little pearl that first formed in my brain a year and a half ago. It’s become something I can imagine putting out into the world. I can’t wait to get started on the next round of revisions. After some time away, I feel genuine excitement about diving back into the story, rather than just a dogged determination to get ‘er done. I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

And while I didn’t make anything with words, I did make some stuff with clay. Also, I went for a lot of walks. I smelled flowers and balanced on rocks and pushed little girls on swings. I did my best to focus on nothing more than flower, rock, girl, swing. As a result, I feel quieter and calmer than I did a month ago. I hope I can hold on to that feeling as I shift back into my writing life.

05

04 2011

Novel guilt

Crazy tunnel playground near the Olympic Village

Having a hard time getting into the noveling zone this week. Most of my writing time this month has involved work that is not related to The Glass Doll. And, thanks to some fine weather and a lot of consulting gigs for Shane, I’ve spent almost as much time at the playground as I have at my laptop. As a result, I am further from finishing the second draft than I’d planned.

It’s always a good thing to have money coming in, and I never regret a single moment spent running through tunnels with Cass. But my novel and its characters feel distant to me. Is it odd to miss imaginary people? To feel guilty for neglecting them?

Enough stalling. I shall go visit them now.

20

05 2010