I will let the stories that float in my mind come to life. I will nurture characters, flesh out their worlds, build their conflicts and tear them down again. I will measure success not in finished paragraphs, but in the number of days I create the time and space to write – even if it is only a few words scribbled on an old receipt or a limerick on a restaurant napkin. I will make the time.
This summer, I will believe that I should write. I will silence the evil monkey mind – the one that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear the dirty secrets about how I can’t, shouldn’t, will never be able to write. I will, with a flick of my finger, send that monkey flying from my shoulder. At least I will try. I will acknowledge that the evil voice has many cousins who will continue to try to keep me so unsure and off balance. But in that acknowledgement, I will not acquiesce. I will fling all of them – the cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles of my monkey mind – all of them from my shoulders. I will believe that I should write. I will believe that I can write.
This summer, I will go back to the form of literature I love while embracing even older lovers. I will seek out new books by young adult authors and old middle grade classics. I will also let myself sink into Shakespeare or Austen or even read trashy romance novels or geeky science fiction – as long as I remind myself to learn from each and every author. I will seek out the reasons why I love characters or hate settings. I will focus on plot curves, conflicts and resolutions, character arcs and symbols. I will think about how beautiful a well-crafted heroine appears on the page. I will recognize the warts and wrinkles and puss-filled carbuncles of poorly written prose and acknowledge that maybe…just maybe…I could write more elegantly, even though they got published and I haven’t yet. Yet. Yet….
This summer, I will get my groove back. I will write again. I will stretch again – in body and mind. I will talk books, go to critique groups, find new writing friends and ask for advice from old partners. I will remember what it is to be a writer.