I had been struggling with the same scene for days despite promising myself I’d push into first-draft gear and crank the words out. I told myself revisions would wait for later. But everything I’d written seemed to embody the freshness of sewer sludge and come delivered in the voice of a three-pack-a-day smoker.
And when I quite my novel, I also gave up blogging. After a week or two I doubted anyone would notice. Yeah, I was deep into the self-pity, so the sense of liberation was bigger than the cosmos.
What did I do with my new-found freedom and time? Well, I
- finished a book begun the night before (Rock Paper Tiger, which is teh awesome)
- drove my daughter to the stables and watched her ride
- played with our cat, Chloe
- drank diet Dr. Pepper
Sure, on the surface these activities liked like things I would have done even when I was a writer, but they were different. I felt different in their pursuit.
Then I came home and my feet led me upstairs to the day bed I used to sit on sometimes, back in the days I had been a writer. Lo, a computer awaited me; one I’d forgotten to unplug. My fingers got busy. I tapped out a couple pages. Guess who powered through the scene, even managed to find its non-osteoporotic spine so that I trust it’ll stand up during revisions?
Who knew? Who could have told me by surrendering to despair I’d find the shortest way back to hope? That by making writing optional again, I’d desire it again from a deeper place? *thwap* Turns out I could have just listened to myself here and here, LOL. Also, I might have remembered the song Thank You by Alanis Morissette. I’m not crazy about the video itself, but the song is pretty profound:
When was the last time you had to be willing to abandon something to find it? How long did I take you to reset your fuse? All told, I figure my divorce from writing took about five and a half hours. Have you got me beat?