Tuesday morning smelled like spring. The rest of my family had retreated to their daytime distractions, and I stood alone in my garage for the first time in a while. Only I was not alone. A large-ish jumping spider sat on the wall between human door and vehicle door. A breeze wound its way into the garage and I smelled the intoxicating newness of spring.
I think seasons exist on a philosophical level to help humans restart. Beginnings are welcome, like that spring breeze, because they show us that beginnings are possible. Same with all cycles: school, work, home, nature. We need to remember how to begin.
Last week, I reconfigured my Patreon creator pagewith new reward levels, new images, and new words. That fresh beginning felt overdue and yet right on time. It took a while for me to learn what I could offer, what I wanted to offer, and where my boundaries stood. I sense those things will all shift again, so I seized this moment of knowing and started over.
I’ve started a new novel, too. One about women and vivisection and complicated lives. And I’ve figured out my process of late. I select an idea that won’t leave me alone, then I graph it. Then I sit with it for about three months. That’s right. Three months. It invades my sleep, my wake. The story winds its paths through me and I jot notes if anything seems entirely too important to forget. Mostly, though, I percolate. Then, I beg my family for an in-house writing retreat and write a first draft in one huge rush over a long weekend. Knowing this process–and that it works for me–settles my fears about the time not writing. Because, really, everything is writing.
Some part of me, a rather big part, wishes I was a write-or-die person who hit a specified goal every day. I’ve learned that the write-or-die style, for me, requires HEAVY editing. Very heaving editing. However, when the story forms inside first then bursts onto the page, the editing becomes less cumbersome. It’s still there, of course. But it’s not as clunky. Not as heavy.
With spring about to sprout, consider the newness at hand. What are you going to do with it? Ignore it and let it wither as the sun grows hot, or nurture it into something that matures with the season?