Discover more from Throwanotherbearinthecanoe Newsletter
on the importance of fallow time*
*even when it pisses you off to be doing nothing.
I finished my first draft of Angel Maker this week, which, because of the way I work in iterating passes, is part first draft and part fifteenth draft… but given what a mess the partial draft I started off with was, it’s a triumph to have something put together. I’m also in the sticky place where I am bored to tears by it and exhausted with it and also want to launch myself onto finishing the revisions and getting it done done so I never have to look at it again.
Of course, that’s not actually how this job works, and if I just waded back in now I would still be too close to see what needs to be fixed. I have to bide my time. Lie in wait. And generally give myself time to forget what I meant to write so I can see what I have actually written.
I’m pretty excited about it, however. What I’m not excited about is the current need to spend some time in the state I refer to as post-novel ennui, or fallow time. Because I’d love to be writing right now but the fact of the matter is that my brain is empty. I am drained, and trying to think of interesting things to say just results in staring blankly at the paper.
So I need to do things that fill the well. That allow the field of my thought to grow fertile once more, the metaphorical equivalent of burying fish heads and planting legumes to be turned back under come spring.
Some of those things include reading, spending time with friends, going for long walks in the pleasant outdoors, playing games, watching television, and listening to music. Feeling your body, having experiences, connecting. Filling the well.
One must steward one’s self, as much as the world, in other words. In the winter, everything rests.
Throwanotherbearinthecanoe Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.