An extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills
My last sabbatical, now more than ten years ago, resulted in my leaving the world of paid employment, a decision that freed and fed my soul, if not my bank account. Every morning since I’ve given thanks for those gifts.
Now, my novel-in-progress progressed, newly birthed, has been sent to the inboxes of literary agents, waiting to be loved, rejected or deleted without being read by a junior unpaid intern. I’ve taken this labor of love as far as I can, and, for the next few months at least, it is in the hands of the universe. I’ve released it with love and hope.
But I’m feeling more than a bit untethered without the focus, and burden, of the world of 1913 that I’ve inhabited for so long. So I’m stepping back, trying a self-declared sabbatical. Not from all writing- I’m still committed to my morning pages, and this blog- but I am withdrawing from the world of writing fiction for a while, and I hope that when I return, it will be with a rekindled energy. Another historical novel? Well, yes. Just not now. And maybe a return to poetry.
For the last two weeks, I’ve read and read and read, and semi-compulsively pruned and organized files. But I’ve also watched the birds at the feeder and followed leaves as they fell to the ground. Many books wait on that to-be-read pile, some poetry to savor, to ponder, by poets once loved and those newly discovered. And genealogical research, and Zentangle, and watercolors, and a trip to the beach, a visit to the mountains. And, most of all, lots of time for thinking, for renewal.
Time and freedom – I’ve had both for several years now. But somehow this interlude, this sabbatical, seems especially precious. I’ll keep you posted on my journey. And I wonder if I can go three months without writing. I’ll admit characters for the next book are forming in my head.