I have taken the summer off. I’ve biked, hiked, knitted, hassled, fretted, sweated, gardened and napped.
Now the harvest is coming in hot and heavy and soon I’ll be putting food aside for the winter (already have lots and lots of applesauce, raspberries and rhubarb in the freezer for morning oatmeal), and I’m eager to get back to writing.
I recently wrote about the value of lying fallow. This has been a good time for me. For certain, I still write, but what I’m writing has more to do with posts and blogs and copy for Wordcrafters’ variety of literary events. I now need to get back to my personal work.
So this morning, I tallied what I have that is incomplete, but still holds my heart. This exercise was both gratifying and horrifying.
- Four novels – first drafts complete, awaiting rewrites.
- Three novels – first drafts in process.
- Two novels – outlined and ready to go.
- Four nonfiction books in various states of completion.
- I also deleted a few fits and starts that no longer interest me.
When I decided to take a few months off, I was convinced that I had exhausted my creativity, that I really didn’t have anything new to say. Today, I look at my list and I am excited to prioritize and get busy, mostly because I have a whole batch of new ideas popping up in my head every day. Clearly, however, I need to finish something before starting something new.
I participated in NaNoWriMo last year (National Novel Writing Month – Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days), and that was not only great fun, but it helped move forward a project that had been languishing. I only wish I had come to it better prepared, as I ended up with a very messy first draft. My first drafts are usually untidy, but not this ugly. So this November, I will work on one that I have already outlined. Between now and then, I intend to complete one of the novels awaiting rewrites.
My self-imposed hiatus lasts until mid-September.
I wonder if I can wait that long to get started.