I haven’t been writing. I have, however, been doing a lot of other things. I’ve been painting walls, organizing closets, placing furniture, combating an ant invasion, and mediating a cat-dog introduction. But I definitely have not been writing.
I’m not going to lie. It feels kind of good. I mean, I’m free from worrying about my characters, what they’ll do next, what consequences they’ll face, how they’ll change, etc., etc. I don’t have to figure out how the relationship between Julie and Roxy will play out—is it a romance or a friendship? I’m not responsible for Julie’s reaction to her mother—will she forgive her? And I definitely don’t have to think about how everything will (or won’t) come together in the end. It’s pretty liberating.
But it feels pretty horrible sometimes. Those moments when I’m, let’s say, rolling paint on a wall, and I realize I don’t know what color Julie’s room is. Or when I look over at my guitar packed up in the corner and wonder how often Julie should practice her cello or if she should decide to quit. Or yesterday, when celebrating July 4th, I thought about the timeline of the work-in-progress. Will there be any holidays to celebrate? What would Julie celebrate? Would she even care about holidays? It’s these moments that get to me—that make me tell myself that I MUST get back to the writing.
Sometimes, I feel like I’ve abandoned a friend in the middle of difficult times. But I know I haven’t. I have to remember that working things out in my head is part of the process. I may not be sitting in front of the computer or have a pen in my hand, but I’m making decisions, and these decisions will make things just a bit easier when I’m ready to sit back down and actually write. Think of it as multitasking.
And Julie’s probably also feeling free, since she’s just as confused about her life right now as I am. So she’s doing her own thing, waiting patiently for me to get back to her. She’s not going anywhere.
Or maybe she is? The possibilities!