Deborah Siegel pauses at the entrance of the writing cave and invites She Writers inside.
I have a confession. I’m superstitious as a baseball player. Though I’ve published two of them already, I’m afraid to say “my next book” in public. The reasons I’m afraid to say this, She Writers may recall, are listed here. While a new idea has been brewing and I’m mentally ready to work it out, I haven’t fully committed—until now. Here. With this post.
There. I did it. I’m committing publicly to my next…writing project thing.
I live in a city of writers. I know I’m not alone in feeling afraid to attach the possessive pronoun “my” to the sacred noun “book” until the concept is more fully baked. It’s hard to feel legitimately grounded in a project until we’re immersed in a daily routine that contains the breathing room we need in order to think.
Come February 1 (my birthday month!), I’ll be doing that. Immersing and baking and thinking and all those other verbs we writers fall back on to describe that magical thing that happens when we enter the writing cave.
Giving ourselves permission to enter that cave is elemental. To enter the cave is to embrace the unknown, reaffirm our faith in our own ability, and claim (or reclaim) a vital piece of ourselves that often gets put on hold while we’re off focusing on equally important things.
I’m excited. I love the cave. I feel in touch with the red, hot core of life there and, when I’m there, I feel like I’m being something I’m meant to be. But I hate the isolation. So I’m inviting all of YOU to join me inside. That’s the beauty of She Writes, you see: we enter the cave with 13,000 sister-writers by our side.
Please watch this space for future posts from me as I figure my new project out while spearheading an exciting new She Writes initiative we're calling the Social Book Project. More on all that to come later. For today, let me introduce you to my new Tumblr blog--The Pink and Blue Diaries--which I’m using as a thought/link/post/quote container while I work out what this “thing” is to be. (See image above! Those are my baby twins' shoes.)
For those of you similarly inching your way toward that next big project, let's get tactical. Here are 5 things I've started doing as I stand at the edge of the cave:
1. I'm reading like a writer--and taking notes.
2. I've started a new notebook (remember our notebook mashup here last year?! Mine's a cardboard-cover Moleskin with grid sheets)
3. I've printed out a few slides from Christina Baker Kline's terrific She Writes webinar, Getting Started and have taped them to the wall above my desk ("It's the Writing, Stupid!" "Avoid Self-Sabotage," "Everything Is Material," "Beg, Borrow, and Steal")
4. I've booked a 2-day yoga retreat to clear my head (I haven't had a vacation in a good long while, so I'm pretty psyched)
5. I've told all of you I'm starting something new!