Thursday, August 16, 2012

Easing into life again

According to Blogger, I'm a day shy of a month since I last posted. According to my notes, it's also been almost a month since I finished my draft of Project Demo. A month since I've written anything.

In the meantime, there was a move out of Bristol, an international flight, a domestic flight, a train journey, a road trip from Chicago to Amherst, Mass, and an (ongoing!) move into the new house (please don't ask me to explain all the moving travel--I hardly understand it all myself!). We've been here for just over two weeks now, though it's hard to imagine it's been that long, when so much is still up in the air.

I'm finding it difficult to ease back into writing. While waiting for feedback on Project Demo, I've been playing with old story ideas, for just 30 minutes to an hour a day. Too much and I'm physically and mentally drained. Yesterday was my longest writing day yet. I cranked out a revised scene for Project Fun for a writing group. It took a little over two hours. But I had to stop halfway through to take a nap, I was so exhausted.

Apparently I'm not alone. Agent Betsy Lerner blogged yesterday about one of her authors who always needs to nap (sometimes multiple times a day) when starting a new project. Betsy suspects it has to do with fear. Nah, I thought, I've been scrubbing an oven for multiple hours a day, moving boxes back and forth to any free space in the apartment, I'm just exhausted.

But my writing narcolepsy, and every day narcolepsy, continues. Now that I think about it, maybe Betsy's on to something. Maybe not only jumping into a new-ish project, but setting up this whole new life, in a different state, a different country, is a little scary. Maybe I combat that by falling into unconsciousness periodically throughout the day, letting myself give up for just a while.

But I keep pushing forward, keep trying to write a little bit each day, clean a little bit each day, and I'm thankful I'm not on any kind of deadline. I'm also thankful for this blog, and all of you, and not having to start from scratch when it comes to my online life and friends.

I'm also thankful for a lovely writing space. I thought I was going to make a spare bedroom into an office. I had grand plans for a beautiful desk, all my books in one place, etc. But in the meantime, I've situated myself at the kitchen table, and I'm not sure I want to leave. I get a cool breeze from the back yard, my wind chimes tinkling, a view of the forest beyond... I think I could be quite happy right here.


I'll leave you with that lovely image (though apologies for the quality! I can't seem to track down my camera's cord). Anyway, the oven still needs some scrubbing, and there's piles of stuff in my "office" to sort through, and...

Zzzzzz....

23 comments:

  1. Good luck with settling in, Anne! It took me a loooooong time to revise my middle grade novel because we moved from Italy back to the US. Moving fills your brain, leaving little room for much else. As you settle in, though, you'll find your writing groove once again. :-)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Natalie. So encouraging to hear that from someone else who's been through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

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  2. My goodness, you've been through so much, you've pulled up roots and now are trying to put new roots down. Plus all that cleaning, which is exhausting in itself. Forget jet lag, this is life jag. But you will settle into place and one day look around and all this will be a vague memory.

    Love your new writing space. I don't know why but I do good writing at a table, be it kitchen, dining room, or patio. There's a comfort to it. Either that or I don't want to be far from food ;)

    Welcome home!!!!!

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    1. Life jag--> Wow, that sums it up perfectly!

      hehehe. I hadn't even thought of all the side benefits (or... not!) to writing in the kitchen! But it is true, I used to work at the dining room table... I must like table writing as well.

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  3. So glad that you're getting your bearings in your new home. :)

    OMG, naps are the BEST. Love them. I plan to have several this weekend. LOL.

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    1. hehehe. It's comforting to know I'm not the only nap-dependent person out there! ;)

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  4. Moving is such a hassle! Your view of the back yard looks so nice, hope you'll be settled and in a routine soon. :)

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    1. SUCH a hassle! Nice to chat with others who get that! Thank you!

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  5. Congrats on the move. I think many wonderful words will be written in your new home!

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    1. Aw, what a lovely thought, Christine. Thank you!

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  6. A nap is essential! I hope you get settled in smoothly and the view from your kitchen is lovely. I can practically feel the cool breeze.

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    1. So glad I don't have to feel guilty about this nap thing anymore! Ah, blogger validation! ;)

      Thanks for all the kind wishes!

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  7. IMO you are doing very well, Anne. Jet-lag and the stress of changes should not be underestimated.
    Personally, I never understood writers who travel-write on the go. I need everything in place, its routine always-place where I don’t notice things anymore, for the writerly focus.
    Amherst is lovely. You will settle. The naps will settle into their place too. A month is nothing. You are and will be fine.

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    1. Thanks, Mirka. So blessed by all these comments, and validations, and understanding responses... thank you for giving me permission to be overwhelmed, too. I don't know why I need that, but it does help. I'm so looking forward to finding a routine, and a home, again.

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  8. My brain works on plot when I lay down. It's a running joke at our place that when I lay down for a nap I'm plotting!

    Moving is sooooo physically exhausting. It takes a while to bounce back from that.

    You sound like me - I'm always at the dining table or the sweet spot of the sofa. I've officially christened my desk space in the study as "crafts" space.

    Elisabeth

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    1. hehehe. I keep telling my husband that, but he doesn't seem to believe me! ;)

      Good to hear that moving has been physically exhausting for you, too. At this stage, it doesn't feel like it should be, but of course it still is.

      Meg Cabot apparently writes in bed... not sure how she does that! I need back support! But I do get the need to spread myself out, whether it's across my comforter or my kitchen table!

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  9. Naps are grossly under-rated. One of the wonderful things about being a self-employed writer is that you can take one when you need one.

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    1. This is so true. Thanks for the encouragement to nap away! ;)

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  11. Wow, you are already writing AND you have wind chimes hung. I'm impressed. How nice that you've already claimed a special space for your writing.

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    1. Purely unintentional, but it IS nice to have stumbled upon a special space, you're absolutely right! You're making me feel much more productive. Thank you!

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  12. I'm glad to hear you're starting to get settled in to Amherst! Moving is so emotionally and physically exhausting, I'm not surprised you've been tired. I remember comparing notes with friends in Chicago, at one point; we realized that we'd all been sort of exhausted for our first 3-6 months in Chicago. It just takes a lot of energy to settle in, learn a new place, make friends... I hope you can get all the moving stuff settled quickly, and good luck getting back into a writing groove! ;) --Monica.

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    1. When Phil and I got married, Pastor Larry told us that the three most stressful things in life were marriage, moving, and death. Glad I'm only dealing with one at the moment, but it's so true! Thanks for all the good wishes and for reminding me that I do have a good excuse!

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