My world has been in a state of upheaval for the past two months, and the result has been that my time and energy for writing have been limited. I did manage to write the last two chapters of the book I am co-authoring with my friend and writing partner Jared Anderson. But really, two chapters over two months is nothing to brag about. And the truth is, there was a certain melancholy to finishing that project. As I was finishing the chapters, I was also helping Jared to pack his house for a move to the midwest. The day before we climbed in the moving truck and started driving, I finished the last four pages. I printed off the entire book and we read it while we drove from state to state. The ending of that book was the ending of so many things and so it’s completion didn’t come with the typical celebration.
Of course, now we will have to start revisions, each of us working from a different state and both of us in new homes. We will have to figure out how to coordinate long distance since we can’t meet up for our weekly writing and editing sessions. Our whole process is in a state of upheaval.
The chaos isn’t just in Jared moving. I moved also, I’m still unemployed after 4 months, and my husband and I are having some issues. All this disruption to my personal life has disrupted my writing life as well. I sit down to work on revisions but I can’t focus. I want to start working on a new book, I can’t think straight. Not being able to write has felt like the ultimate insult in two months’ worth of aggravations! My old habits and patterns have been torn asunder, and I have felt lost and anxious about it.
Then today I started working on revisions to a YA novel. I sat down and started working with no thought or plan. After a bit I noticed something – I felt normal, I felt calm. In my heart, I knew this was the answer even before I started working. I just needed to sit down and do it. Patterns and habits are good, but sometimes simply getting your butt in the chair and writing. I’m creating new habits, new patterns, and Jared and I will find new ways of working together long distance.
The fact is, all this upheaval may actually prove to be very beneficial. Stressfulness aside, it has forced me to rethink how I do things, and much like the revision process itself, it has given me a new way of seeing who I am as a writer, and for that part, I am grateful.