It’s not just television shows like Better Call Saul that can take a two-year hiatus. A blog can, too. I only wish my return was as highly anticipated.
Here it is, two months into 2020. Since finishing Sexsage in September, 2018, I haven’t written. I’ve kept a toe in the pond by doing a final edit on my novel Outlaws but that’s about it. I’m hoping I needed the break to come back stronger. Kind of like Better Call Saul.
I started 2018 with the intention of writing, producing, printing and selling Sexsage. Although I made some mistakes – all fixable – I succeeded in what I’d set out to do. At the end of 2018 life did that flip flop thing it does and I felt uncertain and untethered, needing to take a breath. I decided to step back from writing to devote myself to my health and well-being.
2019 became the Year of the Purge. I gave up sugar and carbs (Hello, Keto), which led to purging sixty pounds, along with losing sciatica and other pains. My energy level is off the charts. I have cleaned, organized and emptied unwanted items from every inch of my house. It’s been a lot of fun.
I’ve run out of things to clean. I find myself making new projects for myself. I know what this is. This is pre-writing procrastination. It’s taken me months to sit down and write this blog post. My next novel is beating at my brain. And I want to move all the framed pictures from a hall-long counter and hang them instead before starting.
See what I mean?
The next book is a historical, so there’s research involved. I’m going to attempt two points of view for the first time. I don’t even know if I can still do this thing again, this writing. I know what’s involved, what it takes, the joy of the perfect word or phrase, the agony of critique. Yet, after a two-year break, the process feels fresh.
My attitude about my writing has always been – why not me? I’ve had no illusions about the depth of my talents. I know I’m probably more of a Solieri than an Amadeus. But I read and enjoy plenty of Solieri-grade novels. So, why not me?
I know I can write another novel.
I walked in and out of my garage for a couple of days as I contemplated how to best clean and organize it. It seemed an insurmountable job. It demanded a purge. I let myself be overwhelmed, not in an anxious way, but consciously. I let it pour over me, looking at the big picture, the long view. That makes it easier to break it down and then break it down again. Pretty soon I had doable tasks. It’s a process that works for me. It’s the story behind my name, learning to build things a brick at a time. It works. You should see my beautiful garage.
I’ll use the same method to write my next book. In my mind, it’s written already. I know the story; beginning, middle and end. Now the pieces need to come together. A novel no agent can resist must be written. I say that every time. I have faith. Every time.
I want to enjoy everything, whether it’s tackling a DIY project, working social media, writing a book, or cleaning the kitchen. 2020 is going to be full of fun and surprises. It’ll be nothing if not interesting, that’s certain.
It’s time to get to it.
I leave you with these words from Jodi Picoult. Something all of us procrastinating, hiatus-taking writers should remember.
You can always edit a bad page.
You can’t edit an empty page.
You can edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.