All of the hazards to daily writing happened at once. I fought a nasty virus, took a vacation, and finished a huge writing project all in the same month. Any one of those events could stop me from a disciplined writing practice for a week or two. But when they happened almost simultaneously over a relatively short period of time, I felt like a butterfly with broken wings–incapable of movement and uncertain about how to repair myself.
I wanted to celebrate the writing project that had taken me years to complete, yet because that project was a memoir, along with that effervescent bubbling of joy over a writing dream fully realized, I felt emotionally depleted . There was such a back and forth motion to my moods—first, elation and pride, then an overwhelming rush of the re-experiencing of the life events I’d written about in the memoir (and some I didn’t write about,) followed by a feeling of dread (oh no, the querying process awaits and what writing project am I going to focus on next?)—that I felt battered. Where was my usual calm? What had happened to the IV drip of inspiration I craved? The daily writing that anchored me?
Yes, I know I’m being hard on myself. I should allow myself permission to rest, to allow the well to fill up again before dipping the bucket in and expecting an overflow. But that’s not how I operate. I need the writing to feel whole. In so many ways, the writing is what fills up the well. So, I write a little every day, building up my writing muscles again, recognizing that in taking baby steps, I’m moving forward. I’m repairing myself.
The butterfly may have broken wings, but in almost every case, she can still fly.