A writer’s life is a curious thing. During the process of writing a book the characters, story, topics and message take up residence in the writer’s body, mind, and spirit. Frequently the “work” accompanies her every waking moment. It’s often been my experience that the material also weaves into one’s dreamlife so that deep and restful sleep becomes illusive and rare.
There’s no escape from the book that pushes forth to be born. The only option is to write and write some more to ultimately complete the work. When finally the years of writing and re-writing gestate to fruition the author lets a long exhale of relief, not unlike a mother that has just given birth. She sends her book into the world with prayers and joy, spends a few days tidying her workspace, and then…What? What comes next when the writer is left with her empty nest?
What will you write next?
This is the question I’ve been asked daily during the past week or so following the launch of my new book. Truly, it’s rather like asking a mother that has just delivered a baby, “so…when will you get pregnant again?”
Here’s what I know for now… I love to write and there is no doubt I will begin another writing project later this year. I also enjoy having spaciousness in my life to explore, express, and imagine future creative projects. For my spiritual and mental well-being I need that same spaciousness to simply be. This post-delivery period is a time for self-care, renewal, and replenishment.
I have just “birthed” a book. I am choosing to take time to reflect, to till the soil of my heart and spirit in preparation for what eventually will be seeded as the inspiration for the “next” project. I have ideas that are percolating but for now it’s time to rest in the Mystery, to pray, knit, spend time doing nothing with my beloved, eat chocolate, and learn how to bake a loaf of French bread.
All of these varied facets of my life and interests will inform what will come next. Meanwhile, I breathe in and breathe out and appreciate the potential within this holy, restful, blessed season of unknowing until my muses return.