Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Tides of Writing Life

I find myself in the middle of January, after a long period of drifting, without writing much at all.

November was a wonderful adventure, as it always is when I join the throngs of NaNoWriMos around the world. It was great fun to be a Municipal Liaison, and I made new writer friends in my community. I had the pleasure of organizing a Young Writer's Program for a multi-age classroom in a local elementary school. Even the non-writers in the group enjoyed it when I handed out small chocolate bars in their early morning class, encouraging them to hold, open and eat the candy in order to write a description of the experience engaging all five senses. One enthusiastic senior student led the charge, writing over 100,000 words in her NaNoWriMo project. It was an amazing example of what can be done if you turn your mind to it and make time in your day for something you love.

Then came December, and not a word was written. The tide was out. It stayed out over the holidays. Like a beach comber, I traced the edges of the great heights my word counts had reached in November and managed to pull together some Twitter posts. By the early days of January, the tide had ebbed further and even my capacity for 140 character bursts had nearly dried up.

The tide is turning now. I can feel it. My writing group met yesterday and I turned my attention to the first messy draft of a memoir project that's been sitting since last spring, patiently waiting for the flow of creativity to rise again. Today, a blog post here and one more on another blog I'd neglected since late fall.

It feels good, this swirl of creative energy washing over me once more. It always feels good when it returns, lifting images and thoughts together to spill out as words, filling once blank spaces in my journal and on my computer screen.

I'll try to catch this wave and ride it a little way. Perhaps I can forge a second draft of that memoir now, to achieve my goal of sharing the lessons taught by painful experiences and the subsequent comfort of connection with others.

I know the tide will ebb, falling away from me again, as other tasks push into the swiftly emptied shallow reserves of my spare time. Just as I know it will flow back, and the words will surf on a wave of inspiration once more. The rhythms of my creative energy are reliable, like the steady progression of waves dancing along a familiar shore.