So, here's the deal. (Warning: LONG post ahead)
I finished a first draft of my beloved story back in the summer of 2014. Its very first readers took a gentle look & offered some advice (and from my friend, the college professor, quite a few grammatical corrections.)
I relaunched the website, got my footing under me business-wise, got Jake Bar Mitzvah-ed. I discovered just the book I needed to edit in a truly constructive way.
My story has been whispering to me, though.
Today is the day that I answer. Today I begin.
Begin what? And how?
What I have is my work week - Monday through Friday while the kids are at school. So, for the duration of this phase - my "weekend" will now be Thursday and Friday.
Phase Zero (so this "weekend") will be beginning (another long post I'll cover in a separate one) AND moving over those grammatical corrections to the typed version.
A gentle (if boring) reacquainting with the material and an easing of my mind (those grammatical things freak me out as a writer but more on that at another time!)
So, to borrow a phrase from Christ on the cross, "It is begun." Cue Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to Passion of the Christ...I'm off to edit!!
Today I begin the re-write process for my Beloved Story but how do you begin again after more than a year of absence?
With ritual and guidelines, of course!
(Warning: another LONG post) (because, ACCOUNTABILITY)
I like boundaries, but I respect transitions. I know I need a way to delineate my writing "weekends" (Thursday and Friday) as well as ease back into the process of connecting with my manuscript.
I also chose the sparrow ring I bought at the Soul Sisters Gathering back in 2013. I bought it to support me in the last push in getting the story done so it seems a fitting symbol to keep on my re-write altar.
Each "weekend" when I begin, I'm going to set up this altar. I'll keep it up on Thursday and Friday and then I WILL PACK IT AWAY. I've got the perfect box for it and everything.
This will keep the boundaries of the re-write time strong and reinforce my focus DURING those two days.
I'm going to start on Thursdays after I get the kids off to school. I'm going to allow myself time on FB because
1) I still have a business to run
2) I know that for me the computer/screen time energizes me and wakes me up and
3) the connection to the Friends I have on FB opens up my heart and reminds me who I am doing this work for.
I am going to work on a timed schedule, after advice from Hired Pen dot CA. 25 minutes of work, then move. And because I heart emoticon Superhooper.organd the hula hoop I committed to learning and still really haven't gotten the hang of, along with laundry I'm gonna hoop and build my core in those breaks after 25 minutes.
I will use my phone to time it and I will keep to my schedule ("Keep to your schedule, Harry. Keep. To. Your. Schedule." -Hagrid)
I will work my way through The Weekend Novelist Re-Writes the Novel juuust as soon as I go through the edits my erstwhile editor sent. So this "weekend" is weekend Zero. I'll update you on the other week's assignments as they come along!
And lastly (phew! Right?) I hope to be able to create at least one graphic each of the days that I work through this process. It'll be a big help later and it'll keep me visually engaged, and INSPIRED in the present.
There's my check-in! And now, after a longer beginning than expected (but then, that first one is always longer than expected) it's time to crack the spine. Back to page one...with love.
#MaggieAndChristian #LaPadre #WritingLife
What?? I'm on break! #WritersLife #MaggieAndChristia
I've got a love/hate relationship going on with the hula hoop.
And I've got tomorrow and a big long stretch of time to work in 25 minute chunks and move this process along.
The journey is begun!
But for now I'll blow out the candle and head to my second job as a mom. ❤
For Longing by John O'Donohue
Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants to take.
May the forms of your belonging
– in love, creativity and friendship –
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.
Day 2 and here's what I love about using ritual to do this kind of work: it provides BOUNDARIES and FLEXIBILITY.
It was a rough night last night with The Hubby hacking up a lung half the night and today I've got two kids home (one for a college visit and one with the annual Homecoming Sickness that goes around our district this time of year - we affectionately call it the HF Plague.)
So, this morning is a late start. But it doesn't matter.
It cuts out guilt. It cuts out stress. It gives me a specific delineation: this is edit time, that was not.
Boundaries AND flexibility. (Insert sigh of contentment here.) The perfect balance.
Which is not to say it's EASY. Instead of fighting the work I fight to begin - seeing as it's taken me 20 minutes to even LIGHT the candle.
But there is something to be said for fighting the beginning. It means I am not fighting my WRITING. For non-writers that may not mean much but anyone who writes will understand that anything that puts you on the same side of your writing is a win!
#WritersLife #Ritual #ritualsForWriters #MaggieAndChristian
What we open in ritual, we must close. And just as I open and close each day, I need to open at the start of each "weekend" and close as well.
Boxes are GREAT for this. A pretty cloth (blue for communication) sets an intention of safeguarding my work and my process until next time.
Put in my cooled candle, my notes, and my symbol inside and close it up! My time is officially done until I open it up again next week!!
#WritersLife #ritual #MaggieAndChristian
"Weekend" Zero comes to an end.
I'm up to page 14.
Today saw a quicker process but only after a late start and an even longer meeting with resistance. Loathe to begin, I lit my candle later than intended (even adjusting for sick kids and Hubby.) Loathe to begin, once the candle was lit I did a whole lot of stuff that wasn't writing, per se.
Sometimes writing is making space for writing. I mean that mentally (like finalizing plans for getting M to her SAT tomorrow so that the worry and distraction was off my mind.)
AND I mean it physically. My desk is a mess; my work space floweth over. Certainly goodness and mercy will...not be able to find me amoungst this untidiness!
So, I tidied, ran the Monthly Heart-Centered Planning Ritual, had some lunch, and finally sat down to editing.
And though I wasn't writing...I was. Because I had the candle lit the whole time. I was in intentional space with the intention of editing and so anything that happens during that time has the power to inform that intention.
So, even though I wasn't writing I had an a-ha about a character and how that relates to my newly-discovered, new audience (remember yesterday I hinted it wasn't a Young Adult novel anymore?) That counts as progress.
That's where I'll leave off: progress.
Tune in next week for Week Zero, 2.0.