Saturday, October 8, 2011

What Writing Has in Common with a Cross Country Move

For the past several weeks, I have been overwhelmed with moving trucks and cardboard boxes. Our family's cross country move is very exciting, but it has also managed to turn my entire life upside down.

That got me thinking. Do moving and writing have anything in common?

And I managed to find several similarities...
Similarity #1-- That frustrating period when you feel you should be done, but you're not! There is still unpacking and setting up and finding doctors to do. Or, in the case of writing, revising and revising and revising to do. (Oh how I want the manuscript-- or the move-- to be done, but it's not!)

Similarity #2-- Both are more work than anybody can possibly understand who isn't doing it or hasn't done it before. I would never have imagined how insane it would be to pack up the lives and possessions of four people and move them to the other side of the country. Not until I started doing it. Similarly, people who don't write have no understanding of how challenging, frustrating and exciting the process can be.

Similarity #3-- Finally, I realized that making a move is all about making a really big change. And, whenever I make a change, my writing travels in exciting new directions. When I started to learn the cello, I didn't become a great musician, but I did end up writing a collection of poems about a girl who played the cello. And when I made my biggest change-- having children-- I learned all about trucks and ended up writing what will be my first published book, "Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?".

So in the midst of my remaining bits of chaos, I wonder: What new interests might come from this cross country move? And what writing projects might emerge from these new interests?


  1. Best wishes to you. I am not in the process of moving across county, but I am moving back in after a major home remodel. Perhaps it will lead to new writing projects. I hope so. I like how you took your situation and compared it to writing. Good thinking!

    Linda A.

  2. In particular, I was struck by the section about how no one who hasn't done it could possibly understand how much work is involved.

    I firmly believe no one but another writer can fathom how much work goes into writing!

  3. Oh, yes! Both moving and writing are more work that you can imagine.

    I can't stand the thought of moving again, but I know I will.

    And I know I will start another book when I finish my current WIP -- no matter how hard or how frustrating. that is.

    But yes, new experiences definitely open up the creative side of our brains. Do I smell a PB about moving drifting in an easterly direction?

  4. You too?!!! I know you will persevere and have even more insights (but you don't always know them apriori) once the dust settles. My mind is full of stuff I want to explore even further, so I have a little notebook with me at all times. Change shakes things up in a good way for me.

    We've been in SC for two months now, and I must say that this has been by far the most smooth move ever, with things falling into place without much effort on my part. Deo gratias.

    I'll keep you in my prayers as you go through this big transition and I hope you will be very happy in your new home.