“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of feeble minds.”
Henry David Thoreau
Right now, if I were sticking to my writing plan, I’d be spending a few hours today revising my YA novel, along with the rest of the work I have to do. But I’ve decided to take a break from my schedule. Ordinarily, I like to stick with my plan because it anchors me and makes me feel productive. But I’m making an exception today for several reasons.
First, because just yesterday, I read through about six chapters and am thinking about making some major adjustments: combining a few of them and even eliminating one. Since these are major decisions, I don’t want to make them too hastily. I want to absorb the idea of these changes before I take action on them.
Second, I’ve reached a point where I’m a bit confused about how to fix some things. Not too long ago, this would be making me very anxious. I’d be bemoaning my lack of revising skills and wondering whether I’m just muddling things instead of improving them. But this time around, I’ve decided to be more Zen-like about it. I’ve decided to try being comfortable with not knowing what I should do next. So instead of just barreling through, I’m going to sit with my uncertainty in the hopes that it will befriend me and show me which way to go.
And third, so often I’ve found that if I listen to my intuition and relax after I’ve just put some intense time in on a project, then my subconscious takes over and noodles things around for me while I’m doing other stuff like going to a baby shower or planting a few impatiens. Giving things time to percolate can be so helpful sometimes. If you’re really lucky, you come back to the page fresh and perky and everything just falls into place. Has this ever happened to you?
In any case, all this may just be rationalizing my decision to take a break. But that story doesn’t work for me. So I’m going with the better story: the one that says that time out is actually time in — and my intuition is on target.