the deep breath before the plunge

fell and waterThere’s a scene in LOTR Return Of The King where, on the eve of a huge battle, Gandalf and Pippin stand on a balcony of Minas Tirith looking out across the plains towards Mordor. Mount Doom glowers ominously in the distance and a brooding darkness is engulfing the land. “It’s so quiet” says Pippin, awestruck. “It’s the deep breath before the plunge” Gandalf responds.

I’ve always loved that line – it captures so well that feeling of anticipating something inevitable, particularly if you’re viewing it with some trepidation. There’s nothing you can do to stop the passage of time: the thing – whatever it is – is going to happen. So you take that deep breath, and you wait.

I’m feeling a teeny bit like that now. Only a very teeny bit – thankfully I’m not facing the ‘great battle of our time’ or anything even close. There is no growing shadow, menacing volcano, or hoards of Orks about to descend. But change is coming. Summer has rolled on past and is nearing its its destination. Next week school term begins and with it an end to the lazy days and a lurching jump back into the morning routine.

This September also brings with it two changes for our family – my eldest begins middle school and my youngest is starting school nursery five mornings a week. In actual fact, these changes are good. I’m pretty sure both my boys are ready for them, as is my middle son who’s going to find himself the ‘big brother’ rather than the ‘little brother’ in school for the first time. But still, they’re changes and I’ve never been one for change – it brings the unknown which is well… unknown. Anything could happen! Give me the comforting blanket of familiarity any time.

There’s another reason for my deep breath too though. I’m not looking at encroaching darkness, I’m actually looking at a beautiful sunrise. Because with the new school term comes time to pursue my creative goals – the most time I’ve had in years (and years!). Five mornings of child-free time a week! Ok, some of that will be taken up by work, and yes I’ll also need to get on top of all sorts of household stuff that I’ve let slide, and I’ve promised myself I’ll get fit, but still… all that time. I can’t help but be excited!

Right now my creativity is champing at the bit. I’ve been fitting drawing and writing into little bits of time I’ve had over the summer and am finally close to submitting my first assignment for my illustration course. Woo hoo! It’s taken me ages to get to this point so I’m hoping to be able to up the pace a bit once we get settled into the new school year.

I’ve also signed up to go to the Festival of Writing in early September where I have two one-on-one meetings with agents arranged. Eeek. I’ve been editing picture book manuscripts on and off all summer to submit to them and finally got two sent off yesterday! I’m hoping to get useful feedback from the sessions. It feels like a good time to talk to some professionals, go to some seminars (I went to some great ones at the Festival last year) and generally get my head back into my writing again.

I’m also going to get back to more regular blogging and my weekly #WhatImWriting linky after a summer off. Hopefully my productivity in all areas will improve but, at this point it’s hard to tell quite how things will pan out. Will my mornings pass in a blur of ironing and attempts to get to the bottom of my email pile? Will ‘getting fit’ steal from creativity or encourage it? Will all my boys settle into their new routines without a hitch? Will I?

Yes, change is definitely on the way and with a week of summer holidays to go, I’m standing on the balcony of my citadel (ok, sitting on the sofa in my living room) watching it approach. Chances of an eerie silence falling to herald it? In this house?! Zero. But I’ll be taking that deep breath.

And then… the plunge.

Writing Bubble

15 thoughts on “the deep breath before the plunge

  1. suz

    Nicely said. Guard your new found ‘time’ very carefully. It’s very easy to let it slip away from you but I’m sure you will love your new routine.
    I’ve never been to the Festival of Writing but I’ve heard lots of good things about it. Will await your report on it.
    I’m hoping to make some changes to my ‘day job’ in an attempt to free up some more time. Breathe deep and take the plunge :-)
    suz recently posted…Last day to win “Things Evie Eats” on Goodreads.My Profile

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  2. Rebecca Ann Smith

    I so relate to this! It’s that September feeling. I’ve set myself a new challenge of getting up an hour earlier to write before I get the children out of bed – we’ll see how long that lasts…. :) Hope all goes well with the new school routine and that frees up some time for you during the day.
    Rebecca Ann Smith recently posted…Guest post: Kristina Adams – From Inspiration to Launch: What Self Publishing My First Book Has Taught MeMy Profile

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  3. Nicola Young

    It’ all change Maddie and you’re going to embrace it all, I’m sure. It’s weird when you move on to the next steps, but whereas you might think it sad and end-of-an-era, I’ve always found it a positive step forward in the end. Look forward to hearing how you get on.
    Nicola Young recently posted…Writing a middle grade manuscriptMy Profile

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  4. Marija Smits

    Enjoy the mornings! But if you don’t get as much done as you’d like to in the time available, don’t beat yourself up about it. I used to do that but I definitely go more with the flow now. It’s hard to keep working effectively for every minute of those free hours… Rest up and have fun! :-)

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  5. Turning Up In Devon

    The times – they are a changing! I remember my youngest going off to Preschool and suddenly I had lots more time to work. It’s strange at first not having them around so much isn’t it but you’ll probably be amazed at what you can do with that extra time. I agree with Marija, have some fun with the time too. #whatimwriting

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  6. Sophie Lovett

    It’s such a strange feeling having actual time for creativity isn’t it? After nearly four years of squeezing it into whatever gap I could muster I’m finding it a little bit overwhelming! In a good way though :) I hope your September’s started brilliantly – really looking forward to hearing all about the festival of writing – and everything else! xx
    Sophie Lovett recently posted…All changeMy Profile

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  7. Rhian Harris

    I know what you mean, I absolutely ADORE the time I have with my little girl because I know she is growing up WAY too fast, but I can’t help but think about what I might do when she is at school. All that time for work instead of cramming it all in! #whatimwriting

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  8. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    I hope that the back to school week has gone well for you and the boys, especially the ‘new starters’. I can’t believe how knackering it is, and I’m already desperately missing staying in bed that bit longer. Here’s hoping that those five mornings actually mean creativity, for both of us, rather than tidying, washing and the like – not so far for me, but I’m trying!
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Gratitude Journal AugustMy Profile

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