The weather is lovely today. While my son joins his fellow camp counselors for pizza, I’ve found a shady corner of the parking lot where pine branches float up and down with the breeze. With the windows down and the sun roof open, I feel like I’m in my own little woodland retreat for an hour.
I’ve taken a month off from my manuscript. Really five weeks. The extra week came from an unexpected trip to be with my mom as she dealt with hospitalization and the diagnosis of an illness. She is transitioning well, and I’m grateful that I could spend the time with her.
It is hard to shift back to being productive. Creative work requires discipline, otherwise life gladly fills your time. I have to admit that it’s been nice being away from the book. Though I didn’t get to play as much Sudoku as I had hoped.
During my time off, I took N. K. Jemisin’s Masterclass, which was fun and has given me new perspective on worldbuilding and lots of information for character development. I also moved to a new bullet journal, caught up on household chores, and read a lot. My novel, which was so present in my mind before, feels out of reach now.
This is actually a good thing. It will allow me to experience the story more as a reader would when I return to it.
But I haven’t returned to it yet. I’m summing up my worldbuilding and character notes. If inspired, I may develop these a little more. Yesterday I printed out the manuscript, so it’s ready to go once I’ve organized my thoughts.
It would be easy for me to get annoyed with myself for being too slow to get back to work. But each time I feel my impatience build or my frustration rise, I pause. I try to do two things: be gentle with myself, and figure out if there’s a small easy step I can take to move in the right direction.
I’ll get there eventually.
Writing that here reminds me to give myself room to breathe. So do the chirping robins and rustling birch leaves in my little corner of the parking lot.
Hope you are breathing and writing well.