Anyone searching for a slice of inner peace this week?
The struggle is real.
More, or less difficult depending on the circumstances of your particular life.
No thanks, I think I’ll skip the Kurt Vonnegut novels right now, I’m living them.
And yet, I’m not.
Jump back— to my Virtual Writing Lesson, where the intention to write with a maddeningly lack of urgency was born.
So, Jocosa, how’s that going?
Do you really want to know? Good, because I’m really going to tell you— as if I wouldn’t.
Choosing to write with a maddeningly lack of urgency and following through is the easiest thing I’ve ever done. No joke. The transition was instantaneous. And boy-oh, I didn’t see that coming. Me, a person who has lived an entire life on schedules of have-to routines and obligations made this transition without effort.
The morning after the Full Moon Eclipse, I deleted all the reminders in my iPhone calendar, except for actual doctor appointments, virtual chats, and the dates for when bills need to be paid. That may seem like a lot remains, but trust me, my calendar looks naked. I used to make note of ridiculous things, things I’ve been doing on a daily basis practically my entire life like writing and reading— yeah— because for some reason I believed if I didn’t leave a reminder I might forget and turn lazy. Don’t ask me how I managed to get away without a reminder to brush or clean my Invisalign trays. But on the morning after, without one moment of planning or debate, I simply deleted all non-essentials.
The lightness which followed was like whipped coconut cream atop butter pecan ice cream with a dash of chocolate sauce. And in the absence of the must-dos, I came face to face with Trust. It filled me up as if it belonged. The reminders weren’t needed because I trusted myself to show up because that’s the kind of person I am. I like to get things done, and I enjoy all the little steps required to accomplish the task. How did I not recognize this before? Don’t know. Don’t care. It’s no longer relevant.
Slide sideways— into the manuscript under round two of the Big Edit/Revision. My deadline for handing it back to the developmental editor is February 1st. Once the prep work was done for this round, I figured out I needed to rework a chapter a day, in order to have a week for polishing before the hand off. It was a great goal, but far from realistic, especially since putting Kaitlyn’s visceral life on the page isn’t fully part of my mushy-sensitive second skin yet.
Add to this unrealistic goal, my intention to write with a maddeningly lack of urgency and well, I’m fifteen days (thanks to writing to you, dear friends, readers, and voyeurs once a week) and nineteen chapters— no make that twenty chapters because yesterday I discovered a new chapter needed to be added— away from meeting my deadline.
But the funny thing is— I’m not panicked. In days of yore— like six weeks ago— I would’ve ripped the skin off my cuticles, stuffed pounds of nuts in my mouth and yelled off with your head at anyone who interrupted my writing. Not that any of those things would’ve changed my output. Not in the least. I write like a snail. It’s my rhythm, the way I default to 45 miles an hour even on the Interstate unless the cruise control is set. All Hail, to whoever developed cruise control!
Funnier still— I have complete trust in my ability to get this round done on time. I don’t know how it will work. Maybe I’ll end up pulling all-nighters, although I doubt it. I do not function well without enough sleep. So, I don’t have a clue how it will get done. But I know it will because surrendering to a maddeningly lack of urgency has increased my joy for writing. Specifically, my joy of hanging out with Kaitlyn and allowing her to express herself as fully as possible, which is part of how I discovered an additional chapter needed to be written.
There was no away Kait could transition from Chapter 26 to 27 without interacting with her best friend. To ignore that interaction would be tantamount to shoving the reader out of the story, which is a cardinal sin, since the reader is reason the story is written. The story bubbles inside like a juicy piece of gossip impossible to keep secret, and unless all the details are spilled the listener feels cheated, which was exactly how I felt when I went from the newly revised chapter 26 into the current 27.
And so, tomorrow Kaitlyn and I will dive into the unknown, where we will confront whatever is necessary to keep her story arc moving onward, downward, sideways and upward until her transformation is complete. And we will do so without doubts, or pressure because that’s what comes when you embrace a maddeningly lack of urgency.
And the most extraordinary thing— writing from this place of trust yields to a wealth of inner peace.