What next? I’ve been batting this question around quite a bit, especially inspired by seasonal changes. Back-to-school activity, Monarchs frenetically flying around in migration prep, evening and morning temperature drops, these shifts into autumn prompt my own search for another gear.
‘What next?’ has recently been a question I particularly ponder about my writing. I’m ready to let go and get my memoir out into the world. While there are certainly still rewrites ahead on that, the question is, what to write about? I needed to write about my husband, our time in Bosnia, my daughter’s premature birth in Italy, struggling with his addiction, navigating Molly and myself out of the shadow of his suicide. The compulsion to tell that story got me up on the coldest of mornings, 7 days a week.
And the discipline stuck. For the past few years I religiously rose before dawn, before setting off to my day-job, rewrote, rewrote, rewrote. Now, it’s time to move on. I need to find a new story-itch and I think if I pay attention to the clamoring voices inside of me, I will. Perhaps that’s one of my best insights from years of living with insanity. Paying attention leads me to a feeling of serenity. Focused, present in a thoughtful way – that’s the state I aspire to be in as much as possible.
Writing helps me get there, especially if I do so with the expectation/hope of being read. So in a kind of letting-go exercise, I’m setting myself the challenge to come to this space each day rather than revisit old pages. If even briefly, to write — as a kind of meditation, or perchance to find my next story. It’s a start.