It may seem sort of odd to follow up three posts about being inspired and pushed from the SCBWI LA Conference to now talking about being unmotivated. But such is the nature of life and writing.We are in San Diego, about to move our youngest into her college dorm. We’ve been talking about it for weeks, knowing it, but I’ve been ignoring the anxiety and sadness that has been at my back for that same amount of time, not wanting to feel its hot breath on my neck. So I keep just ahead of it…for now (though I allowed myself a good cry yesterday). I know I will give into it, but not yet. Not when I will still get to see her and hold her close.

When people ask “What will you do with your time?” I laugh because she’s very independent and we’ve been getting used to not seeing her all year as she hung out with friends and her boyfriend, studied and such through her senior year.

And I’m so busy doing things I love and I didn’t think any of that would change. The teaching, critiquing, the writing (need more of that), and the every day stuff that makes up a life.

The thing I knew would change was the energy in the house, the hole her absence would create, just like the holes that were left when our other two ventured off. Rayanne essence no longer floating and dancing through the air, only what she left behind, like the last hints of perfume before it dissipates altogether.

I feel unmotivated, adrift, but grateful to have things that bring me back and lift me up–thank you, Lighthouse Picture Book class!

I can’t seem to write, though I did brainstorm last week. And I’m glad our middle child will be home for two weeks just as we say good-bye to Ray. It will ease the transition. But transition there will be and I want to meet it with curiosity and anticipation.

Not there yet, though. Still unsure, anxious, sad.  I remember this with the other two, so I know it will pass, but until then I will do what feels right in the moment.

So there is no Denise pep talk or advice on how to get motivated. Right now I’m just staying ahead of the sadness until I’m ready to face it. And if I feel like writing, I will. If I don’t, I won’t.

Writing this post helped. It reminds me that not all writing has to be focused on a project, on a story, on a potentially publishable piece.

Sometimes words on the page, any words, are enough.