Sunday, December 04, 2005


Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I've been easing back into Normal Life (whatever that is). I've re-introduced myself to my Moleskine, trying to get back into the rhythm of writing Whenever Pages (my version of the Morning Pages Julia Cameron recommends). And I've been simmering the question "What's Next" on the back burner of my brain.

I find myself trying to achieve a delicate balance as I settle into Life After NaNo. On the one hand, I want to give myself a break after its month-long push; on the other, I don't want to let the month's momentum die. If there's anything that NaNoWriMo is truly great at, it's building writerly momentum: having proven to myself that I can write lots of first draft wordcount relatively easily, now it's only a matter of deciding where to direct that creative energy.

Although I don't feel any desire (right now) to return to this year's So-Called Novel, I have been feeling a desire to revisit, revise, and possibly publish all or part of last year's attempt. And after having been away from my Pedestrian Thoughts essays since March, I want to return to the discipline of writing regular, more polished non-blog essays with an eye (again) to eventual publication. And now that December's here, I want to start marketing my incipient coaching practice. So since I seem to have plenty soon-to-be-front-burner dishes queuing on my counter, I guess it's a good idea to rest a spell. There's going to be lots cookin' here soon enough.

How do you manage the ebb and flow of your own writing life? I've talked elsewhere about what I call the seasons of practice: the cyclic pattern of working and resting. So I'm curious to hear how others manage their rest periods: how do you know when you need a rest, what do (and don't!) you do while you're resting, and how do you know it's time to climb back in the work saddle again?