When does the comeback begin?

Sitting at my keyboard and making words appear on the screen has been a rare event for me during recent months. Almost as exceptional have been the times I’ve laced up my running shoes and got out the door. If writer’s block or injury were behind this awkward, embarrassing separation from two activities that I purport to love … stop—I have to be honest with myself—love doesn’t cover it. Writing and running are two things that I have tried to use to define my existence. During these last few months without them, I have felt as though I am slowly losing substance—losing my place in the world.

Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t been wallowing in a pit of despair while I waited for my own Fezzik and Inigo to rescue me. Hikes with my wife, visits with family, and caring for my grandson helped me maintain a framework as I struggled with the direction my life was taking and the cumulative effect of the dramatic changes it has undergone over the past three years.

I’ve made a few stabs at getting back on my feet, both writing-wise and running-wise. In the latter, attempts have been half-hearted and riddled with missteps. In the former, every renewed writing effort has died aborning.

After several unproductive bouts with my keyboard I have come to realize that I have been avoiding a deeper problem. This problem is both a dilemma and an obstacle that may be causing the dawdling uncertainty that plagues me.

Although Harvest of the Heart has been positively reviewed by everyone who has read it, it isn’t the novel I first envisioned. In the editing process, I followed the advice of others—which was, from one point of view, excellent advice—to make changes and cut elements that both shortened the book and simplified the plot. I fooled myself into believing they were the right moves.

At the time, I thought I saw a way forward for my main character, but that path just isn’t one I want to follow. This is a problem because  the clear path I desperately want to take will require, to some degree, trashing an already published novel and doing a major rewrite. That means no sequel this fall; the way things are, that wasn’t going to happen anyway. Following this path also means retracing my steps … a lot of work to get to where I had hoped to be almost a year ago.

So… when does the comeback begin?

I ran today. I wrote these words today. I made a decision today. Although the proof will come only with results, today seems as good as any for starting a comeback.

4 Comments

Filed under Personal, Running, Symbiotic, Writing

4 responses to “When does the comeback begin?

  1. Rina Martin

    Welcome back Micheal! :+)

  2. Phil

    Good job on both counts, Dad! I started exercising again, too. Down a few pounds already. I’d love to help toss around any ideas about the sequel if you need it.

  3. You CAN do it and you will Michael! I have no doubt that you will do what you were meant to do in your own time

    • Rina Martin

      Hi Michael, Off topic, maybe, but I’m in Ireland for the first time and trying to decide if I should rent a car and drive here. Never been overseas and might be dangerous driving on the left instead of the right for me. Trips are usually enjoyable for me as I have freedom of travel where I want with a car. I also don’t have my computer so paying euros to use these really slow internet things. Should I try to find a rental place or not? Decisions, decisions. Do I really need to choose? Will assess. Life will go on either way. Happy yours is. :+)

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