Consider this post a “closed for business” sign for one week. I have before learned the value to my creative process of occasionally going off-grid. A week ago I received my memoir manuscript back from the accomplished memoirist and editor I hired to give it a final read. Her suggested revisions were dead-on, answering the nagging questions I had not even known how to formulate into questions.
I am soooooo close to getting this manuscript out the door, a book I have been working in for three years now. Yet distractions are keeping me from completing my task. Part of that distraction is my day job, a government worker who currently is not furloughed and thus feels guilty about that, but also finds doing his job more difficult because of how much of the government is shuttered. The absurdity of my professional life at the moment is highly distracting, but beyond my ability to change.
What I can control is externalities I choose to engage in. Thus, to clear some head space for me to perform this final revision on my memoir, I am withdrawing from social media for one week: from this blog, from Twitter, from Facebook. In a way I’m cheating, because I’ve already found myself doing that over the last few days anyway, as my Twitter account demonstrates. But now I’m making it official.
My hope is that eliminating distractions will force me to finally say “I’m done” with this book. My larger fear is that the real problem is that I can’t get to that point, to finally saying that after three years I must let it take its chances. I just said goodbye to my daughter Marisa last month when I dropped her off in another state for her first year of college; perhaps I’m resisting another goodbye.
I’ll make a promise to you now: if my current struggle is one of avoiding completion of a creative task, I’ll research my favorite creativity and writing blogs, review the posts, and share what I learn here on The Artist’s Road.
Okay. Deep breath. Relax. Dive.