So I guess a post with this title shall appear. My cold has abated, and the laundry is done, five loads yesterday that usurped the writing which I had planned. Initially I felt a little guilty, but assuaged myself that unless I felt so called to create, best to get the washing done instead. And today I was rewarded for my patience by managing an entire chapter, albeit on the concise side. However, a chapter is a chapter, and at this point, I’ll take whatever words emerge.
Ten years ago I couldn’t have halted the words with a steamroller, but that isn’t what I want to address today. Today I’m fifty-one and grateful for whatever prose I can muster. And lately I’ve been wondering if once I complete The Hawk, will I even embark upon another fictional project? Right now I’m feeling rather drained, not sure if it’s the dregs of my head cold, or just age. It’s also due to other concerns, not of a bothersome nature, but of sheer joy; grandkids are a hoot, and I’m so pleased to be as involved in their little lives as I am blessed to be. And there’s the sewing, coming out of left field like a shot off of Babe Ruth’s bat. Years ago between novels I checked out the ocean, but I haven’t been to Capitola in…. A very long time. These photos are from four years ago, my goodness, as if the Pacific disappeared or I forgot my way there. Instead of traipsing off to photograph the waves, I stay home and fashion quilts, or spend my time with wee ones.
Yes indeed, different rhythms have overtaken me.
So, how to write a book when my time is so splintered? Others do it, lots of others, but my technique has previously been that of a horse with blinders, only the story in my view. That was fine when my kids weren’t parents, lol. I could accommodate their solo needs, but now all bets are off. Not even my father’s battle with cancer impeded upon my word count; I wrote to maintain a modicum of sanity. But this new generation is another kettle of fish entirely, and I suppose I’m glad to have released The Hawk in installments, providing impetus to finish it. For the first time in a long time, the urge to write is diminished, although thankfully not absent. But has that waning desire set a precedent for future stories? Only time will tell.
What I need to remember is exactly what saved my bacon yesterday; when it’s time, the words will come. Trusting in that is essential, because it’s not merely about writing fiction. It’s about any such project that needs my focus. Age has affected my authorial drive, but I can’t just throw up my hands and whine that I can’t do it. I can write, it’s a matter of accepting where writing now falls within my life. And that for now, it’s okay to move other items up on the list. Nietos won’t be toddlers forever, and perhaps as my forties was the decade to learn to write, my fifties will be more about reflection. I have to evolve, even if it means a reduction in the output. What I write now is certainly better than what I was spewing in 2007, ha ha. Better to honor quality over quantity.
And the best of all is to take this journey one step, or word, at a time. Again it’s about trusting in a greater good, as well as not taking myself so seriously. And to remember I will never write this story again (thank you Jesus!). Each day with these characters is a gift all its own. I’ll revel in that when feeling uninspired, then wait for my brains, heart, and soul to be equally engaged. When that occurs, no steamroller around can stop me.