Friday, December 23, 2022

Rest Breaks and Nonproductive Periods--How They Benefit a Book

I enjoy Loft teaching colleague Elizabeth Jarrett Andrews' occasional newsletter, PenFeathers. Her recent issue was about the challenges and benefits of rest and fallow periods in the life of the writer. She spoke about the difficulty they bring for some of us--and I immediately related. I am a poor patient, not enjoying enforced rest when ill, while my spouse loves it--the reading, the naps, the staring at nothing. I want to be up, to be productive. That trait has its blessings--I rarely get stuck with my writing goals--but easy acceptance of fallow periods is not one of them.

Sometimes life brings just what we need, not what we want. Post-Thanksgiving, I spent two weeks with covid. Nothing like some experience but still very unpleasant. Many days I could do nothing but stare. Our two dogs loved it--for once, I was motionless. Eventually, I was able to read and watch a movie. But write? No way. Everything got put on hold.