Aside from posting anecdotal blogs about our summer vacation, there is a virtual autumnal cornucopia of story ideas floating around my head. On top of those, The Novel is close – make that very close – to being finished. The Shitty First Draft, that is. I’m already coming up with ideas on how to change it.
For the first time in a while, I gave The Novel an entire days’ attention yesterday and it felt good, productive, worthwhile – like getting back to the gym does. Sure, the muscles are stiff and reluctant but once they get warmed up, it’s like you never got off the elliptical or the stair-stepper or whatever.
The creative mind is a muscle that must be exercised regularly, given proper nutrition to build it, and proper rest to…well, rest it. Believe it or not, sometimes the story needs to sit and stew awhile. Having said that, I get ansty and cranky when I don’t “work out” the creative part of my brain – just like some people get homicidal when they don’t visit the gym regularly (I wish I was like that).
See – I’m trying to justify what a lazy ass I’ve been all summer. I envy writers who can knock out a novel in sixty days. At least, I think I do. When I’m staring at the page wondering whether Aunt Alexandra should laugh off the latest tragic turn to her life or throw herself off a cliff, I envy writers that seem to have it all figured out in advance, who can make snap decisions.
But, no matter. It’s Fall, if not officially by the calendar then by every other indication. It’s back to work time. Back to the writing life that keeps me grounded, happy, and whole.
The truth is, I get grumpy when I take any time off from writing. There is salvation in the telling of the tales.