I am on day 2 of an 8-day retreat at Aldermarsh, a retreat center on Whidbey Island north of Seattle. Large parts of each of my books have been written here and I usually come in mid-project with clear direction for what to do each day. This time is different. I completed a draft of my current novel last August and it is with beta-readers. I completed a small how-to book earlier this month and it is with a proofreader. So I am in the pause.
I am not someone who is usually comfortable in the pause. Rest and relaxation are not easy for me, and even though I say I want them and sometimes even yearn for them, I don't know how to be in them. I'm more about getting things done, about being engaged in some mental or physical activity.
So I'm letting myself do whatever occurs to me next. Yesterday I worked on a proofing project for my novel, The Color of Longing, that will come out next month. Then I read through a notebook of old prompts. I am hoping that my next novel idea will find me while I am here. My three drafted novels all came out of ideas in that notebook, but this time no such luck. I think I have used those up.
So today I wrote a new prompt and wrote a poem and began to revise some poems that I wrote two years ago. I also spent some time starting a list of creative project ideas for next year, both in painting and writing. It has been a good day, although I still miss being in the middle of a book.