The Wranglers have been talking about “two weeks” lately.
When my kids were teenagers, adolescent suicide became what felt to every parent of every kid like an epidemic. It was scary. I remember telling the kids that if they ever felt hopeless and unable to talk to anyone about it, to please, please, please wait two weeks. Because even though two weeks won’t go all that far in healing most wounds, it will make them bearable. And then when things get bearable, I said, give it another two weeks. This was in the 1980s—I’m still giving things two weeks.
Susan, who is the instructor in the Silver Sneakers exercise class I attend, is like the Energizer Bunny—she never stops. Like many of us in the Midwest, her favorite part of winter is when it’s Over. Since Christmas, she’s been saying spring will be here in two weeks—it’s almost April, after all. She’s visiting her son in May—that’s in two weeks. I haven’t yet reached the point of believing her (or keeping up with her) but I always leave her class encouraged.
One thing about writing is that no matter how much you love it, especially when it’s going well, sometimes you just...don’t. Sometimes you don’t want to do the whole butt-in-chair-fill-the-empty-page thing. It’s not writer’s block, really. It’s more like writer’s winter, when all you want is for it to be Over.
When your wits’ end is approaching, give yourself two weeks. You can take them off, work on another project, or do something else entirely (I get lots of sewing done). You can even say you’re quitting and plan a whole new life without a laptop at its center. You can watch television, read some of your TBR pile or something off your keeper shelf that fills your well, or do nothing at all.
Your two weeks can last two months, two weeks, two days, or two hours. However long you need for things to slip back into place. For your writer’s winter to be Over.
I have eight inches of snow outside my office window, and the wind’s blowing it into drifts I don’t even want to think about. I have to miss a hair appointment today, and my hour in Susan’s class. But I’ll have lots of good writing and sewing time.
And spring’s coming, you know. Just two more weeks.