Sunday, July 4, 2010

End-of-retreat blues

I woke this morning out of sorts. I hadn't slept well and yet hadn't wanted to get up. I couldn't find the thread of the next chapter to write for my novel, and the long list of things I wanted to do today--all of them quite fun and engaging--suddenly seemed stupid. The long drive home loomed up, the full work calendar I go back to, the laundry, the grocery shopping. I felt burdened.

It doesn't help that last night's glorious sunshine evaporated again or that it's cold enough to have the heat on this July 4. It doesn't help that I have written furiously and exceedingly well over the last four days, producing double the number of chapters I had hoped for and that my creative brain is tired, needs rest and replenishment. It doesn't help that nearby neighbors are setting off obnoxiously loud fireworks--I can only hope they didn't have too much money to spend.

I dragged myself out of bed at 7:30, made tea, sat down and wrote another chapter. That made me feel a little better. I didn't know where the ideas were going to come from but somehow just sitting down and reading the last few pages of yesterday's entry worked.

I got some breakfast, took a walk down to the meadow, surrounded by more mosquitoes than I could count, came back, and have spent the last two hours taking notes and thinking about where the story is going to go next. It has not been an easy two hours. Sometimes the ideas just flow out of me, and sometimes, like today, I have to extract them from the creative mire. But I have a good list to go home with, places to jump into in the early morning if I keep up this new routine or on the next Writing Fridays.

Because the story is still gripping me, the other things on my list (a watercolor of the beautiful garden scene out my window, the reading of a book on writing, a couple more collages, another long walk--they may all have to go by the wayside. I'm still overly ambitious, I know.

This kind of low place usually doesn't hit me until I've been home a few days. The post-Whidbey doldrums. Maybe I can have it today and escape it later.

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