It's been rough, the last couple weeks. Writing on the new book isn't going so well. There is floundering. There is uncertainty. There are writing sessions that consist of me writing "This is crap this is crap this is crap" repeatedly. There is also the completed novel, the one making its rounds in the please-want-my-book-osphere. I put so much into that book--years and years and tremendous devotion and energy and grueling work. I know what it takes to bring a book to fruition, and I look at my notebook of "this is crap" writing and wonder whether I have that much in me for another round. It seems ludicrous to start all over again, absent any evidence that any of this, ever, is going to pay off in any sort of tangible way.
But this morning I got up and I took my green smoothie to my backyard bistro table and I meditated and I wrote. Just a tiny bit. And then I got up and looked at the scene in front of me:
1 - New novel notebook (the big one).
2 - Writing prompts notebook (spiral).
3 - Spiritual (for lack of a better word) growth notebook, notes on challenges and inspirations toward the person I want to be.
4 - My husband's Complete Works of Shakespeare, through which I'm currently immersing myself in The Tempest because my character is playing Miranda. (Twelve years with an actor have finally caught up with me.)
5 - Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, a novel that's providing some structural inspiration.
6 - Dani Shapiro's Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life. (Looking for help.)
And I thought, we're stuck with each other, writing and I. I don't know any other way to live. These books and these notebooks and these pens...how else could I possibly be? For better or worse, it's who I am.