I am beginning to understand that, to get anywhere in this life with any task, I must return to the task on a daily basis. For me, that means returning to write my morning pages, returning to The Artist’s Way chapter exercises, returning to write in this blog, and returning to write and develop my novel.
Each morning, I return to opening myself to change, opening myself to a new way of life, and opening myself to spiritual and professional fulfillment. For me, these are entwined in a way uniquely reflects my life. Although I no longer call myself Catholic, I find that a number of spiritual teachings stick with me and inform my values and behavior. After I gave myself permission to dive into a writing life, I found myself willing to embrace those teachings and find a way to incorporate them into my life in a way that makes room for my non-theistic beliefs. I sense that, in some future book of mine, I will find a way to express my spiritual beliefs in a way that, I hope, will help others.
For now, I return to my NaNoWriMo story in an attempt to finish what I started. Today, I returned to the story to develop the second draft. I wrote about the novel’s setting for the story (Boston, MA) and the attributes of the city that inform the characters and plot in the novel. I added notes about how to make her mother less overbearing and more loving. I wrote further about my main character’s personal history and the timeline of the relationship with her ex.
In doing so, I realized something that I had long since forgotten: The struggles of the character to assert her independence in the face of the many strong forces trying to sway her are my struggles. The struggles of the main character were my struggles when I wrote the story in 2008, and they are my struggles now. The main difference between then and now is that a lot of good therapy and my renewed commitment writing, which have moved me through to the other side of the struggle.
I have managed some small successes. The move to writing is my biggest one. To write when sick, upset, or bored is another. I have watched as my thoughts and personal insights developed. In seeing changes in myself both big and small, I am beginning to understand that a daily commitment to doing what I love is the means through which I will experience growth of all kinds.
When my writing stopped in 2008, I did as well. I am thrilled to be back on track. I look forward to how I will grow, who I will meet, and what I will learn.