I can see you'all already in the water: waving; calling; saying: it's fine once you're IN!
I believe you and I am envious of your splashes and happy noises; envious of those of you swimming strongly and with beauty out to the far buoy. I can do that too and have swum that swim many times but....
I am afraid.
I am tired.
I don't want to be like the one who is bobbing, head just above the water or the one swimming against the rip, getting nowhere except exhausted. They make me afraid of this word ocean.
Because, I know that it's easier 'once you're in'; I know it's fun and I have the fitness and finesse to swim almost as beautifully as those who are right now swimming lengths of the bay.
But, I also know what it's like to be caught in a rip of writing that saps my strength and will; to be so weighted down by the demands of being a writer that I am thinking twice.
My latest novel, a children's historical fiction set during the time of the Bastion PointOccupation, has had its bum smacked and sent to the publisher. It is now school holidays. Two whole weeks of free time lies before me like that shining expanse of calm.
I've come in from the ocean, dried off, and now the sun warms me.
The day is not over and there is still plenty of swimming time left:
I want to dive in; I don't want to dive in. If I don't, then these pressing characters, these noisy scenes will continue to build up in my brain - there will be no peace.
If I do, then I commit myself to at least a year where I am consumed by story, by research, by the physical demands of going from my day job to my night job, where I feel overwhelmed as if I have homework every night and I know I will feel guilty whenever I don't spend every spare moment in that world.
So I wet my toes in the shallows: this blog post; a speech to a writing group; discovering books in second hand stores which will inform me about this next project; torturing extended writing/swimming metaphors
swimming but sometimes watching movies/reading lying on the
beach holds more appeal.
You'll hear my squeals for sure, when I
start my new novel get back in and I'll be
calling back to you who stand on the edge: just do it! It's beautiful. Yes, a
bit cold but fine once you're in. You won't regret it.
Photo credit: Daily Mail, UK