Well, a post-writing The Hawk life; the last few mornings I have enjoyed that after a novel is done mood, which I have not known in ages. It’s a liberated sense, in that nothing sits on my shoulders prosaically. Of course, there is still laundry, grocery shopping, a shower to clean, ahem…. But the writer within me is taking a nap and doesn’t wish to be stirred until perhaps July.
The editor, however, has put on her hat, sharp pencils in her back pocket, an eager grin waiting to get busy. And I will embrace the revising life, chapters read each day until again I locate The End. But this work is less intense, in that the foundation is solid, if not in need of sweeping. So many elements in writing a book.
And my husband was correct, in that another idea is screaming to be set across the virtual page; my overactive imagination is a blessing, but man it keeps me hopping. Yet I’ve learned a few things from The Hawk, one being that I will never again publish a novel until I have actually finished it. I mentioned that to my hubby, and he smiled, noting he would call me on it. I said, “Yes please,” because there is a responsibility to the reader which cannot be ignored. To me, beta releases are great, but only if a conclusion has been reached and not merely within this author’s gray matter. Perhaps releasing The Hawk in sections as I finished them kept me going, but that was also a lot of inner pressure. Definitely a major lesson learned.
The other takeaway is a far more gradual message I’m still wrapping my head around; I don’t write like I used to, which of course is good in that one strives to improve upon the craft. However, when the words no longer fall like rain, a creeping sense of futility emerges, which if not qualified by how one’s life is altering might appear as writer’s block. While I’m grateful to have started this gig once my kids were teens, now a little over a decade later, grandkids have wrested away some of my fictional thunder. Okay, so has sewing, but for the foreseeable future, I’m an abuela before I’m an author. In the battle of The Hawk vs The Burrito and Little Miss, a novel got its butt kicked all over the last four and a half years of my life. But not all battles turn on one tide….
Nor do wee ones remain that way forever. And that perhaps is the key issue I am grasping, yet not only in relation to adorable toddlers. From 2007-2012 I churned out drafts, blithely expecting that would always be the case. But life has a funny way of derailing assumptions, new paths waiting to be explored. Grandkids and quilts will enhance my second decade of writing, seasoned by a hawk full of grace. This isn’t merely a mantra to appease when time seems squeezed, but the honest truth. Our existences aren’t static, we have to be brave when facing new challenges. I have to believe, as I have said here before, that I will be given the necessary abilities, as well as the time, to master whatever task comes my way. It’s up to me to humbly accept what gifts are set into my hands, as well as the moments in which to enjoy them.