August was sparse. Only one post from me, at the beginning of the month. Such was my life at the end of this summer. But now the kids are back in school, and I’ve revised three more chapters of my YA book. My plan back at the beginning of the summer YA novel challenge was to have the second draft done by September.
I didn’t even get close to finishing. While I feel bummed about this, I knew it was a possibility. In the beginning of the War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” I’m going to add that Resistance is at its most insidious and brilliant when it can disguise itself as a Big Obstacle, such as illness or family. I had plenty of Big Obstacles this summer and I used them all as excuses not to write. (I’d like to take a moment to thank Thomas Jefferson, one of the first American politicians to advocate the creation of a public school system in the US. Now that school is back in session I have NO EXCUSE.)
Now that I’m back on track, I feel an immense amount of relief. Not doing what I am creatively meant to be doing was bad for my soul. It made me tired. It made me critical and whiny and self-hating. It’s amazing that we can forget how good it is, that we can talk ourselves out of doing our creative work, again and again. The trick is to remember that it’s better when we’re doing our work. Even if we can’t remember the actual feeling, we can remind ourselves to try.