One of the reasons for my recent radio silence (and a big thank you to those of you who wrote and gave me a gentle nudge to get back to blogging!) has been that I’ve been busy trying to start a new book, and I’m not so sure that blogging and book-writing are happy bedfellows. Though in this case, it may turn out that they are. My new book, which I just sold to HarperCollins and will be hitting the shelves in a couple of winters, is called Devotion and though I hesitate to call it a memoir, it is, at least, memoir-ish. In many ways, Devotion will be about motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood, midlife (gulp), anxiety, and a search for meaning. It will be about trying to find shape and depth within the randomness, the chaos that is life. And one of the coolest things about embarking on this book is that I get to read a lot of great stuff, books that I have bought over the years intending to better myself by reading, but have somehow never managed to get to. I finished one of those books last night on a plane flight: Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea. Though she wrote it in the 1950’s, it seems so deeply relevant today. Here’s a passage:
“Vague as this definition may be, I believe most people are aware of periods in their lives when they seem to be ‘in grace’ and other periods when they feel ‘out of grace’, even though they may use different words to describe these states. In the first happy condition, one seems to carry all one’s tasks before one lightly, as if borne along on a great tide, and in the opposite state one can hardly tie her shoe-string. It is true that a large part of life consists in learning a technique of tying the shoe-string whether one is in grace or not.”
It seems to me that so much of being a grown-up is in finding techniques to tie the shoe-strings, no matter what. It’s true of being a writer as well. There are days in which I feel inspired, on fire. And then there are days when the words feel like they’re trapped somewhere inside me. But nonetheless, if I sit down at my desk–no matter how I feel–I will have a writing day. I will live my life. I will tie the shoe-strings.