Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Hope?

I went to the gym Tuesday and took my first Pilates class in over six months. I’ve been paying for my membership automatically for the last year with one maybe two visits at best. Each month I pay the penalty for being ten to twenty pounds out of shape in cash and aches, pains and other complaints I don’t have when I exercise on a regular basis, no matter how mildly.

Last year was spent moving forward, and now that my home is in order and other affairs settled, I feel like 2011 is the year I advance from a strong foundation. That includes going back to taking care of my body so it can take care of my mind. I am trying to use the lessons that have worked for me in writing, to take my time, do a little each day and reap the benefits over time instead of expecting instant results.

I remind myself of that as I enter the dark space of my new novel, the point at which the burning spontaneity that birthed it wears out and you are left floating halfway across empty space with no idea how you’re getting to the other side. Where the real work lies. I’ve assembled 165 pages of chapters in Scrivener along with chunks of scattered prose I know will connect to others in time, and am getting ready to fill in the blanks. The best analogy I’ve heard for this stage was by my friend Frank who described it as building a wall, except that the bricks are going in randomly, some hanging in space as you figure out what goes in to connect them to the rest.

I’m determined to move forward in mind and body as the New Year begins, to fill in the blanks in my life as well. It’s not a resolution -- I dropped all pretenses of formal vows to improve years ago -- but a new beginning is a new beginning. We’re starting not just a new year but also a new decade, the teens, with all they have to offer still veiled in mists that could mask anything. I’m doing what I always do -- hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. The only thing I learned for sure in the last decade was to live in the now with what’s in front of me today.

So, Thursday it’s back to Pilates again with no expectation of anything more than getting through that class and then many more like it, one at a time, until it’s so natural I don’t even think about it. And back to writing daily and cranking out pages, one at a time, as I finish a novel that’s something new for me, and dear to my heart enough to want to see how it all ends.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing what’s next.


Charles Gramlich said...

You capture life and writing pretty well in this one.

Terence Taylor said...

Thanks! They're all I have... ;)

Liane Spicer said...

Lots that I can empathize with there, Terence. Happy New Year back atcha!