By Marianne Evans
It happens to me every spring. As the days grow long, temperatures creep upward, flowers bloom and the grass thickens and greens, the thought occurs that I . . . Hate Yard Work.
Trouble is, when you live in Michigan, there's an unwritten rule of spring landscaping that goes something like this: Mornings full of cool fresh air, capped by an azure sky and kissed by golden sunlight are meant to be savored. So, ignoring the siren call of adding fresh chapters to my WIP (Work in Progress), I recently gave up several hours of my Saturday to putter outside, clean and position outdoor furniture, weed flowerbeds and repair latticework on my deck. I found joy in the simple pleasure of breathing in fresh air just starting to carry with it an undercurrent of sweet hyacinth.
That’s when the strangest thing happened. My WIP came to life despite my absence from the computer. Although I fought the idea of leaving book creation behind in favor of manual labor, once I landed in the thick of it, guess who came to visit: my currently developing characters – and the plot elements they faced. They acted out scenes for me, sent me ideas to forward their development. Before long, my flowers, wood chips, leaf remnants and lattice nailing were secondary to the delight I found in letting the words and images flow through my mind. I didn’t even mind the sweat, the black lines of dirt compressed beneath my fingernails.
What happened next? Rain. Hours of it. The deluge started just after I returned inside from my exercise in Lawn Care 101. I parked myself in front of my computer and crafted a couple chapters of my new book, The Return—Book 1 of The Fishermen of Antioch series. The day ended up being the best of both worlds!
Refocusing, surrendering, allowed me to find a pathway to physical revitalization, mental nourishment and forward momentum in my writing. Keep watch over what appear to be unexpected roadblocks—many times those walls turn into blessings…I hope you find that to be true in your journey as well. If you’re struggling with similar issues, try to give yourself a breather, a shift of emphasis, and see what happens next!
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