I have to admit, 90% of the time, I side with Vandermeer. But when I’ve been away from the novel for six weeks, a little warming up seems the opposite of detrimental–it seems essential. Since I received my editorial feedback, my preamble has involved getting as much paid, contracted work done ahead of time to clear my plate and buy some time. Not entirely inspiring, but necessary all the same. What’s fallen by the wayside as a result is two very important things: getting eight hours of sleep a night and reading for pleasure/study every day. I miss these things and am now frantically trying to end the attentions I give to “other” work and zero in on reading. There’s nothing that gets me warmed up faster than an inspiring work of fiction (current pick: Bluesman by Andre Dubus III). And in order to listen closely for those first echoes of my own creative voice, I need to be well rested. Five hours last night didn’t cut it. In a few days, I have an early morning flight, 4 different planes (don’t ask), and a hit-the-ground running day to kick off the Writer’s Retreat. Can I find my center before then?
Tonight, I’ll go see Andrew Bird live at The Orange Peel and that will certainly help. Seeing him always fills my soul and opens my mind–I could go on for days about parallels in our creative processes. Friday, unless there’s an emergency, the only thing getting my attention are reading, journaling, packing, and centering. Saturday is a chaos of other things, but I will have half the day to re-read some pages of the novel and the editorial feedback to let them steep one more time. Come Sunday, I’m on a plane–my best place to write, hands down–and here’s hoping this condensed version of a preamble to my 4th revision on the novel works its magic.