It feels as though I’ve just crawled out from under a rock.
Living under the radar has meant no blogging; no reading other people’s blogs (well, mostly); no Facebook; no email (okay, that’s a lie; I couldn’t live without email). But even with email, I cut way back on the surprising number of subscriptions I discovered I had, in various fits of enthusiasm, signed up for.
That actually turned out to be something of a relief, because checking my morning email messages had become all-out war between the curiosity at the thinking end of me and the complaints radiating from the part of me that had to sit while I was doing it. It’s pretty well padded, but there is such a thing as Far Too Long.
Lastly, I took a time-out from my social life as well. Calendar now swept mostly clean, I was ready to embrace the reclusive life for the summer and get all those nasty housecleaning tasks done that had needed doing for so long.
So now that the summer’s over, you might ask, do I look around the ol’ homestead these days and admire all the finished cleaning, painting, sorting and general upgrading (all the long, hard scut-work, in other words) that was the original below-the-radar plan back in May?
Uh, not exactly. Oh, I was a worker bee all right; it’s just that I was working diligently on a somewhat different set of tasks.
You see, about a week into my summer regime, I came to the realization that housecleaning is a thankless task that produces far too little pleasure in relation to the depressing entropy that sets in the very moment you’ve pulled the plug on the vacuum cleaner.
(And yes, it really did take me just seven days to make this stupendous mental leap; I’m quick that way.)
House-cleaning, I realized, is strictly a no-win situation.
So right there on the spot I instituted a brilliant change of plan–to which my Dearly Beloved readily agreed because it meant that he wouldn’t have to disturb the shocking mess in his den.
If and when the day comes that DB and I can no longer stagger around this place by ourselves, we’ll simply high-tail it out of here and call one of those junk removal companies to come in with a bulldozer and clean it out in one fell swoop.
Then, for the first time in our entire lives, we’ll have someone else paint the place, following which we’ll hire a real estate agent. End of story.
Wow, there it was, all that hard work completely avoided!
It was a stroke of pure genius, if I do say it myself. After patting myself heartily on the back for several minutes as I considered the rather stunning practicality and above-average decision-making skills involved in this brilliant about-face, I grinned a tiny, evil grin, rubbed my hands together in glee, and slunk off downstairs to set about doing what I really wanted to do.
A book, you say? Hold on there now, this is me we’re talking about here, right? Blog posts are one thing; a whole book is a horse of an entirely different colour!
But there it is. All joking aside, I really am writing a memoir. In fact, the manuscript is steadily growing, so it definitely appears to be happening.
But I’m not in this alone. To my great delight, I was lucky enough to meet, and then to engage the services of, an amazingly insightful and all-round-wonderful editor / mentor / advisor-type person who is a joy to work with and a font of knowledge and experience. For a newbie like me, it doesn’t get better than this.
I’ve already learned so much from the partnership that I can’t imagine how anyone can do this type of work without benefit of the unbiased, insightful comments and questions with which a skillful advisor can stretch the brain cells in new and exciting ways to encourage better output on the part of the writer.
I’m hooked. It’s a glorious thing, this act of writing. Frustrating, yes; often difficult; sometimes painful; incredibly time- and energy-consuming; and simply…glorious. What a journey!
Coming Home: A Memoir.
I’ll keep you posted.
For anyone who might be considering a writing project, I humbly offer my most sincere endorsement for
Susan L. Scott, lead non-fiction editor at The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers & Writing, one of Canada’s leading literary magazines.
Through her indie company, WordWork, Susan writes, teaches, edits, and mentors emerging writers. She also collaborates with other artists on projects focused on healing and community restoration.
For information on retreats, lectures, courses, projects and workshops, just visit her website, http://susanlscott.twohornedbull.ca/.