Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Day Off

I just realized last night that for the past four months I have not taken a single day off from writing. Not on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Not even when I had the flu. I have a tendency to get a little compulsive...which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. But I didn't expect that taking a day away from my work would be this difficult.

Patrick is in Arizona, and the girls are at a sleepover, and so I had no obligations this morning. You'd think that would be enough to make me snooze like a baby. But, creature of habit, I woke up at 5 a.m. brain buzzing and humming. I forced myself to stay in bed until the sun came up (!) and then made my coffee and sat down at the computer.

Normally, I locate my work-in-progress and pick up exactly where I left off. I have been revising my novel for almost two months now. I know exactly where to find its weak spots (those fragile fissures and fault lines). I know those paragraphs that need to be shifted around. I know where I have to build up the one character who remains just a tad bit shadowy. I've read and re-read it so many times, it feels almost like some sort of prayer.

But today: Email. Facebook. New York Times Sunday Book Review. Add books from the NYT to Goodreads.

It's agony not opening that document. And it's not that I love revising. I really don't. But it's a habit. It's something my body wants to do, needs to do. I feel a bit lost.

And so I opened a new document. And wrote 104 words. And suddenly I feel better.

So I cheated. But just a little.

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