2020,  The Writing Life

2020 Writing in the Spaces

The dawning of the new decade is filled with mixed emotions this year. There is much to anticipate in the coming months, but also, much to endure. Faith, hope and love will be important.

My ms Anywhere But Here made its way through cyberspace to my amazing agent, Stacey, the first round of revisions complete. What a relief it was to get that out of my hair for a bit! Sometimes, I have read the story so many times, I have lost all perspective of what a reader will think. The relief of sending my baby off to be evaluated by fresh eyes, was accompanied by nervous anticipation and hope that my hard work has moved me a step closer to my end goal of publication. I really like this story, and want it to find its way in the world.

Given the mixed bag forecast for 2020, I have spent some time contemplating how writing will fit into the overall picture. And this is what I have come up with. Strategies for writing in the spaces, will be more important than ever. The other day, I was having coffee with an author friend of mine and she mentioned that she didn’t think she had the large blocks of time available right now for starting a new novel. I smiled. Large blocks of time went out the window for me, in my late forties, when I carried a newborn daughter through the front door.

Writing in the spaces, means that I will have to make the most of every moment in the spaces between other life events. And, I will have to make the most of the space between now and the time my manuscript comes back with recommendations for further revisions.

Time, I recently realized was not the issue. Sometimes, the clock says I have time to sit down and pound out a chapter, but my brain refuses to cooperate. Writing is emotional. Writing takes concentration and energy. This fall, while trying to make use of a spare hour, I decided to work on revisions. After half an hour of going over and over the same sentence, unable to figure out how to word it, I shut off my computer. The muse had packed her bags. I was exhausted, mentally and physically and there was no amount of forcing myself to write that was going to work. The words were gone.

That was when I learned a very important lesson. I quit beating myself up and focused on what I could do. I closed my computer, and gave myself permission to not write. No guilt. No blame. No expectations. I had mistaken time for space. About two months down the road, there was once more, space for writing. And in that space, I finished the revisions to my manuscript.

So, yes. This year will be all about writing in the spaces. And I am content with that plan.

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