The Writer Tries to Rest

Okay, folks, I am going to try not to write (by which I mean work on a novel--blogging is allowed) for a little while. I really need to rest.

But oh, I find rest so hard to do.

It's helped that my family has been visiting for the past week. That's kept me away from the computer, and broken the grip of routine a bit. It's forced me to engage with other human beings, cook a few decent meals, go out and look at things I haven't looked at in a while. We went to see the ruins at Hovenweep; I looked at the tiny stones inserted by an ancient mason between the great big ones, and knew exactly how he felt. What an effort it takes to make something as square as stone, curve.

But surely the mason must have rested?

My trouble is that I don't know how. I am a complete writing addict. I feel lost without the characters and story, like the world has no walls. Everything is too open. What do I do? Where am I? What light is this?

I do things that need to be done. The house needs cleaning. Mail needs answering. Trees need to be pruned. I wander around doing things. It's like swimming in a vague jelly.

What a terrible thing to say about a place and people you love!

If I can hang on just a bit longer, I think the world will become real again, and I'll be able to stay in it for a while. I do want to. I would like a vacation from the imaginary, please. I would like to relax and not fret over rhythms only I hear. I would like to hear other music. There is so much outside myself.

I would like to look at a ruin and see it as a ruin and not a metaphor.

If I can hold on . . . take today . . . and maybe tomorrow . . . I'm sure the trouble is that the brain lays down patterns, and these can be hard to dismantle . . . But bit by bit, I will try . . .

I will take a walk. I'll watch a movie. I will try not to think: "I'm sorry, but structurally speaking, that scene went on just a hair too long."

Dither, dither, dawdle, be shapeless, loose. A stone is only temporarily a stone, anyway.

Oh for god's sake just REST!


Jeanna Thornton said…
A wonderful meltdown...thank you for the honesty and the courage you display when you share...If one has not experienced this, its probably hard to understand the emotional separation that happens when you are close to something wonderful.

It is an amazing journey but not always easy...I UNDERSTAND!
Joni Rodgers said…
I hear ya. I used to think it was because I came to this profession late in life and felt a need to make up for lost time. Or I condemn myself with the label "workaholic" and attempt to deprogram myself. The fact is, it's an unforgiving profession and I love it too much. So thank you for this much needed reminder. Sabbath. Yeah.
I can so relate to this. I have no idea how to take time off from fiction. I've decided it's who I am and how I process the world around me, and given myself that as an excuse.

Mylène said…
Jeanna, thanks so much--you wouldn't believe how hard it is for me to admit the simplest things publicly about writing and my relationship to it--so it means a great deal when you say you understand. I feel less like a gryphon!
Mylène said…
Joni, Colleen, my wonderful blogmates, thank you. I've made it now an entire week (if I count the time my family was here). My apologies for not blogging as much as I have been. I really needed some down time.

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