Only two days ago, I carried wine to my car in the snow. The cold air here is whistling down the neck of still-musty coats retrieved from storage boxes, leaves skitter in the wind, and a pumpkin late graces my writing time instead of coffee. Yes, NaNoWriMo is nearly here.
No matter how prepared or unprepared we are, no matter how much left there is to go before we feel “ready,” it is time to step away.
Put down the project and go walk in the cold, crunch through leaves with a favorite person next to you and a punkpin latte in your hand.
Go finish some laundry or cleaning, go out for drinks with all the people you will miss seeing next month, organize your pens in their mug with the cracked handle, eat enough “fun sized” candy that it is actually fun while watching marathons of junk television.
Do anything but write.
Take a break from preparation, from writing, from outlining (stop it), and go live. Enjoy cooking, listening to NPR, reading other people's fiction, shopping for sweaters.
It doesn't matter what we do, as long as we take time away.
We need to yearn for the writing, we need space to really know that we want it. We need the break from the page and screen to just be, to think, to feel our normal lives going on around us.
We need to every now and then close our eyes and imagine the task that is to come and to look forward to it, to feel the pull of the words, even if we do not know what they will say, and we need to be silent and listen for their distant voices.
They are already there, ready for us. We only need to show up.
So, for now, leave the writing where it is. There will be time later to plan or not, to write from the cuff or not, to think of ideas or not.* There will be plenty of time soon to be tired and stained with the color of our words and living halfway in the present. There will be plenty of time for creativity and adrenaline and long ,caffeinated nights trying to fit in just a little more work.
Rest now and rest well, there will be plenty to do.
*The next few posts are for those still plot hunting.