As you should know, if you’re a regular reader of our dear little blog, I’m up to my elbows in revising my latest novel, with a deadline of mid-July. I realized that I needed to cut back on extracurricular activities in order to free up time for the revision. I dropped out of a show I’d been scheduled to dance for, and I’ve gotten rid of everything else extra that I possibly could. But the stress lingered. With every paragraph I worked on, there was still a nagging voice behind my eyes, telling me I’d never do it, there just wasn’t time, that I was destined to fail.
On Sunday, my husband insisted on taking me to the beach for the day. Normally we pack up as soon as the Beetle is out of school and head down for a week, but this year, between his graduation ceremony and other family obligations, the trip had to be cancelled. It’s a long way to drive just for the day, and I fought the idea of going. “You’re wasting a day you could spend working,” that voice kept saying. “You should have stayed home.” And honestly, I thought I’d made my peace with not having any beach time this summer, which is why I nearly gave in and listened to the voice. I’m so glad I didn’t – when we arrived on Edisto, and I heard the wind in my ears and tasted the salt on the air, I knew I hadn’t made my peace at all. I needed to be there. We spent the day digging in the sand and splashing in the waves, and I came home slightly sunburnt and more rested than I’ve been in weeks. I still have a deadline, but I’m not panicking any more.
Sometimes, when due dates are looming and time is short and you believe you just don’t have energy to do much more than breathe, you need to take that break. Go to the place that feeds your soul. Spend a day listening to music or watching movies or walking in the woods or whatever it takes to soothe you. That little voice will, at first, be fussing and fuming at you, but the longer you break, the softer it becomes, until at last it gives up and lets you find a little solace.
I’ll be away for the month of June, by the way. Kalayna Price, who just stood in for Faith in May, is going to post for me. I’m definitely coming back, and I’ll have lots to say, I’m sure. Not to mention that I’ll be dropping by the comments now and then. Y’all have fun, and I’ll see you on the other side of this rewrite. Wish me luck!