Some days, the words aren’t coming. Some days, the to-do list that hasn’t been done is oppressive in the energy spent not dealing with what needs dealt. So, some days I just take a breather. Why beat yourself up? Who does that help?
This isn’t a day to do nothing at all – this is a day to do something that needs doing, that I didn’t want to do, and then reward myself for doing that. For example, Monday I couldn’t write, so I pulled the airplane out of the hangar and gave her a bath. While she doesn’t wriggle like a muddy matted half-feral kitten, she is a lot bigger than I think, and every time I start scrubbing down the skin gently, I remember she has 288 square feet of wingspan alone (because the underside of the wings do get muddy)… not counting the fuselage with all 4 sides including her dirty, dirty belly.
And every time you pay close and careful attention to her, you start seeing things that need attention – a stall strip that needs to be re-attached, a bit of flaking paint, a little rust… I realized that I dreaded washing her not for the physical work of washing her, but because I was afraid of how much wrong I’d find, and how broken she might be. She wasn’t near as bad as I feared, which was a weight off my heart…
…though trust me, it wasn’t a weight off my shoulders. My shoulders are still sore.
And there you have an emotional character arc: The failure to write, the dark night of the soul, the girding of the loins, forming a plan and setting it in motion, the battle (with dirt and exhaust stains, and with my own fears), the victory, and the reward of not feeling guilty about getting anything else done. And possibly some brandy… Okay, definitely some brandy.
Today, the words are starting to trickle back. I’ll take it!