If you read my last post, you know that I set some concrete goals to banish my spiral into a summertime slothfest. And for the most part it worked fantastically!
I was up almost every morning at 5:30, sometimes earlier. I can count on one hand the number of mornings I wasn’t. I kept my summer reading to designated times and used my post-its to set reasonable daily goals. I didn’t wake up my Habitica avatar, but that didn’t effect my writing progress as much as my other personal goals. So overall, I’d say I was very productive the last few weeks.
Very productive until the past few days.
Between celebrating birthdays, having guests, driving my kids to Illinois for camp with a detour to see some art in Nashville and bison in the Land Between the Lakes, and testing momentum in the hills of southern Illinois, it’s fair to say I got no writing done. (Though I’m confident we could have coasted all three hills if we hadn’t slowed for the bump! Clearly I have no guts, even if I want the glory!)
After my husband and I pulled into our driveway Monday night, we walked into a sweltering house. Running around opening windows while we waited for the air to kick on and my mother-in-law to drop off our youngest, we realized that it wasn’t getting cooler in our house. But we had faith that soon, soon it would cool off. We could hear the fan going and semi cool air coming out of the vents.
It wasn’t until my husband went out in the middle of the night to check the air conditioning unit that we realized the unit’s fan wasn’t turning. With nothing else we could do until morning, we laid there the rest of the night with windows open listening to a symphony of frogs and cicadas and beetles hitting the screen. I took note of their cadence as I fell asleep, thinking of the Appalachian counting rhyme my son loves (the version adapted by Olive A Wadsworth and illustrated my Ezra Jack Keats, for whom he’s named.)
The next morning, after sleeping through my alarm, I was in a funk. It didn’t help that it was hot, hot, hot!
But as I write this, cool air is filling my house from a new unit and my ability to concentrate is renewed. I’m able again to appreciate the squeal of my oldest, who turns twelve in a few months, as we rolled through the hills down that dusty dirt road, and the enthusiastic patience of my daughter trying to get the perfect photograph of the bison. I am humbled and reminded that those hours weren’t wasted.
Having a non-writing weekend means that I will likely not finish the first draft of my novel before I go back to teaching August 7th, but it means that I have new experiences to write about.
And then again, perhaps not all stories worth sharing need to be written down. Sometimes it’s just enough to live them.