Recently, I went back to working on the memoir. I had a long break from it - though not exactly a mental vacation. I thought about Homesick much of the time: talked with my father, asked him vague and meandering questions, kept myself busy with a new career and other commitments. I worked on shorter pieces that I could focus on and finish around a busy teaching schedule. Then my desk was clear for August and pushed myself to be busier, avoiding the book that's been floating through my frontal lobe for ages.
The last version of the memoir had been sitting on my desk patiently waiting for me to clear time and space. I ignored it, so of course it started sassing me and give me attitude, saying things like. "Hey, writer-writer-writer. sit down writer!"
I responded with the classic, "Can't today. Emails to answer, dishes to wash, dust motes dancing in a sunbeam to watch."
So it turns out that back to school (meaning über-busy season) is also going to be back to the drawing board time: I'm tossing the last draft aside and starting fresh. Feels liberating and necessary and a little sad. But after a document calls you out, after it challenges you to face Resistance again by lacing up your gloves and getting in the ring, (or in this case brewing up a pot of coffee and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes) you gotta. Steven Pressfield, the author of the excellent War of Art, says it's better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.
Hang tough. Stay hungry.
Dance around. Stretch. And for heaven's sake, have a snack, eat something. Never run away. Unless something is chasing you, of course, but even then you'll have to stop at some point...stand up and turn around. Face the music: keep tripping the light fantastic while you tango with the shadow stuff.