Go figure my last post on “productivity” should date back to over a month ago. Hm. Sure, we writers don’t have to write every day, but maybe we bloggers should post more frequently than every six weeks. Sorry, folks. Thanks for sticking with me if you’re still out there. 🙂
As per usual, I’m full of excuses, excuses. Back-to-back writing and editing projects have proven more of a workload than I’d anticipated, and my personal writing projects have suffered for it. And summer is not proving helpful so far as hosting and traveling has predictably kicked into high gear. One unanticipated trip I recently took was home to Chicago—a force larger than myself compelled me to go, I think, as I couldn’t stop dreaming night after night about going there and hugging my family. Waking up was never so tragic. So thank you, frequent flyer miles.
The price I paid for that, though, was the hectic situation that was returning just before taking in another visitor, a former student of mine whom I’d taught as a freshman in high school and will now be a sophomore in college. But it was so special to have that time together and introduce her to the literary and historical wonders of London, and we experienced a phenomenal performance of Les Miserables last night. As she departs for Chicago today, I leave for Paris tomorrow for a week-long working holiday—or “worliday,” as one journalist so obnoxiously put it, considering that, to me, the concept of “working holiday” is obnoxious in itself. Yet, alas, often necessary. At the very least, my husband and I will finally have an easy enough getaway for just the two of us (perhaps sipping a little absinthe in a few old Hemingway haunts) while still keeping on top of real life.
And THEN we return to the Olympics. Tickets to volleyball, basketball, and track & field, two of which my in-laws are coming in town to view as well. After a week hosting them in London, we’ll travel with them a week in Istanbul. Another worliday, I expect. Then two weeks after that this selfish bastard finally caters to someone other than herself by volunteering a few days in southern England for Honeypot, a children’s charity that provides respite breaks for child carers—i.e., gives some semblance of childhood to those who’ve had to grow up too fast. I’m also initiating the process for a potential return to the classroom this fall as an English teacher, short or long-term TBD. Well, all of it TBD, really. Just exploring options.
Amidst all of this, I can’t determine when. To. Write. It’s awful, I know, and maybe I should have my “writer” membership card revoked. But you know what I’ve been escaping to in the meantime, whenever I can catch a break? Books. I’ve been reading again and reading often and reinforcing if not rediscovering my love of it. It helps me as a writer, sure, as reading does for us all, but it’s also become a source of great comfort in view of that challenging writing and publication process. As long as reading books still gives me joy, I won’t despair if I myself never publish one. As long as I can appreciate the talent of other writers, I won’t lament if my own talent never develops to their calibre. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying—oh, HELL no! I love writing, and I still have characters and situations swarming around in my head that need a place on the page. I’m set to begin querying again on manuscript #1 and hope I can get manuscript #2 ready for it, too, by autumn. My writing life goes on, that’s for sure; I’m simply saying it won’t die an agonizing death if doesn’t go beyond my computer.
On a side note, the small publisher I edit for has just seen one of its titles make the New York Times Best Seller list and another climb to an #11 Amazon rank in its category on Kindle (#23 for the print book), which is exciting and promising for the joy I reap from editing as well!
“So long as books are open, minds can never be closed,” Ronald Reagan once said, and so long as my mind is open and life full, there will always be ideas for what to write next.