Years ago, I was a committed aquafit attendee. Underwater lunges, leg lifts by the jets, jogging through chlorinated pools—it all turned my crank. I went twice a week with my best friend, Linda. We had a blast, challenging each other to push harder, harder. We churned up big waves with our enthusiasm and built up some wonderful stamina and energy. Aquafit helped keep me healthier and decidedly thinner.
Several years and pounds later, I find myself back in aquafit. A new year’s resolution I opted to actually keep. But man oh man, what happened to make water churning so much harder? Linda and I were iron-women back in the day. Now, I’m feeling far more like rubber-woman. Sometimes even like sopping wet cardboard-woman. I swear they added molecules to the pool.
But I will say that several weeks in, I recognized some of the old iron-woman coming back to me. And by the end of June, I had more energy and fewer pounds. Don’t get me wrong. It will be a long time before I can jog in the pool like a whirlpool on steroids. If ever. But my confidence is up. And I’ve managed to keep a quasi-schedule over the summer with a less strenuous program in the cottage river. I’m looking forward to signing back up in September at the local pool.
And that, believe it or not, gives me hope on an unfinished manuscript that lingers in my computer. This 79,000+ word novel started out like most of my writing. I always write because I want to know the answers that I set up whenever I start a story or poem. And I set up a lot of thematic questions with this one: gender, politics, genetics and nature versus nurture. I was pumped to explore them and it was going great.
But sometimes —just like why I had to give up aquafit years ago—life gets in the way of writing. And sometimes, a writer can lose confidence. And then lose the connection to the heart of the story. And finally, simply lose interest. And that combination is deadly. My poor muse has been whispering in my ear for weeks and I just kept shrugging my shoulders and looking for distractions.
Man, I sure needed a kick in the pants. This post is my public announcement and thus, my self-kick in the pants. You, dear Top Drawer reader, will hold me accountable. Like my return to aquafit, I’m diving back into the pool of novel completion.
I’ve given myself a deadline. September 30: a complete manuscript ready for beta readers. Until then, I’ll be doing the backstroke, butterfly, crawl, freestyle…anything I can do on the keyboard to swim to the finish line. And the only record I’m looking for is to achieve completion on or before September 30.
I’ll let you know if I make it.