“… just as a pregnancy must not be over-stressed and artificially hurried for fear of damaging or aborting the child, so, too, a piece of work asks that we not try to force it into unnatural directions.”
Julia Cameron, The Right to Write p164
I’ve been running around being Busy. Hence the lack of Friday reviews lately. And you know what happens when someone with ME/CFS gets a dose of the Busies. Eventually, there is a price to pay. So today I am lying on my bed, nursing a nasty bout of IBS, with every major muscle in my body in a state of semi-collapse.
And yes, there is good news: Despite the Busies, progress has been made.
Yesterday, I wrote 1058 words I wasn’t planning to write, and as a result, finished a Lewis story that I’ve been working on, off and on, since last July. Which felt like a double result.
I’ve migrated my Sherlock story, ‘Under The Downs’ onto AO3, with positive results. Now I’ve got to do the same with its sequel, ‘The Bee House’, but I haven’t quite got there yet.
I’ve had my monthly coaching session with my writing coach, Heidi Williamson, and it was, as usual, hugely stimulating and supportive.
I’ve been reading and writing every day. Morning pages and journaling. Writing practice. Jotting down notes and research questions. Recording those funny moments, observations of life that provide the richness to a piece of writing.
Asking myself questions:
What do I want to say?
What Truth do I need to speak?
What interests me?
What don’t I like to read?
Who am I?
What makes a character? What is the difference between character and identity?
And so on.
And I’ve been listening.
This major work that is coming, that I am birthing. I know a little bit about it, but I don’t want to push its birth. I don’t want to warp it by forcing it to come too fast. So I just put my pen onto the paper and listen to it. Allow it to tell me where it wants to go. It takes time. But I’m lucky that I am one of those writers who loves the process of writing, not just having written, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker.
Sitting at my desk makes me happy. I am surrounded by my books, with my vision board for the novel in front of me. It is my safe place. My sacred place. This is where my idea will blossom and grow into something more extraordinary than I have ever achieved before.
I have faith. Faith enough to wait.