The 8th Blazing Laptops Write-a-thon happened last Sunday (June 7) and I was delighted once again to participate in this annual fundraiser for my favorite writing organization, San Diego Writers, Ink.
Nearly thirty writers gathered at The Ink Spot and at Inspirations Gallery next door for a full day (9 am-4 pm) of writing. I got to light the ceremonial candle that marks the beginning of every Blazing Laptops. Before the big day, we solicited supporters who pledged to sponsor us as we dedicated ourselves to blazing away on our laptops or in our notebooks, some of us writing to prompts led by SDWI instructors and some of us in “the quiet room,” where we worked at our own speed on our individual projects.
For me that meant a full day to be back inside my novel, All That Isn’t Singing, which I set aside in the fall of 2013 to write Wild Women, Wild Voices—Writing From Your Authentic Wildness. The novel was mid-point in fourth revision when I boxed it up and slid it under my bed with the promise to come back for it after the new book was done. (I created this book cover for the novel a few years ago, just for fun)
You know that hesitant feeling when you’re going back to an old home place or reconnecting with friends or family you haven’t seen for awhile? That’s what the re-entry in the novel has felt like. A little uncomfortable, a lot clumsy. I had been bad-mouthing my writing, my process, and my novel during the last several weeks. But at the write-a-thon I was reminded of the creative process from my writing pal, Judy Geraci. That morning, Judy sent me this from Pinterest, by Embracing Change.
I didn’t reach #6 again, but I was thrilled (and relieved) to finally find some of the lively energy and spirited voice that had been missing the last several weeks of rewrites. This experience also goes to remind me of the great advice I learned from my teacher, Janet Fitch, many years ago: You have to continue to give the work life-support even when other obligations or opportunities or responsibilities take you away. For me, “life support” means at least an hour a day, five days a week, which is not what I was doing during the deep writing of Wild Women, Wild Voices. Another lesson; never stop learning the lessons.
I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored me during this year’s Blazing Laptops and helped me raise $940.00 for San Diego Writers, Ink. Thank you: John Van Roekel, Gregory Johnson, Anitra Smith, Jill G. Hall, Ellen Yaffa, Ely Rareshide, Liz Morrison, Anita Knowles, Jerry Hall, Gina Cameron, Carrie Danielson, Patty Collins, Roger Aplon, Rob Williams, Sylvia Levinson, Madge Blakey, Marivi Soliven Blanco, Suzana Norberg, Scott Barbour, Zoe Ghahremani, Katalina Obrist and “Anonymous,” who I know to be my dear friend and Thursday Writers partner, Steve Montgomery. You all blaze bright in my heart!
Question: Have you ever left a writing project and found it difficult to re-enter? How do you provide “life-support” for work you can’t give much time to?