My semester ended today, and fall is in the air even though it's August still. You can feel it in the way the breeze is cool coming through the open windows in the morning, and the light is golden and slanted as it angles across the mountains after dinner. Twilight is already coming earlier. The corn, even though it was planted late because of the rains, has grown and grown through the hot July days, and is shoulder high now: fat ears with silken tassels waving on every stalk.
Between now and the beginning of next semester I have just exactly ten days of time that have nothing in them save for my book. Ten brief late summer days to finish the chapters that still refuse to be finished, and to revise and revise until the whole manuscript sings; then I'll send it off to my most trusted readers for one last look through, with a week or two on the other side for revisions.
And somewhere in that time, all the illustrations that have been slowly gathering, piece by piece on the wires I have hanging above my studio desk, need to come together too.
And all this feels momentous and utterly amazing. I sometimes still need to pinch myself to confirm: this is my life. I'm doing what I always dreamed of doing.
Still, it also feels completely overwhelming and daunting... Because, oh my, I am finishing the essays and illustrations for my first book! And there's more than a wee bit of pressure around it all.
And now I have ten days of time now that are just for this glorious daunting work and I've decided that I must use that time as wisely as I possibly can. I have been feeling spread awfully thin, and especially so in the digital space where I spend so much of my time learning and creating and absorbing. And I know how distracted I become under the urgency of deadlines, to slip down one rabbit hole after the next here: filling my mind with the snippets of news and headlines and information and inspiration.
So I've decided to take the next ten days off from the internet.
I've never done anything like this. The last time I didn't have a consistent internet connection was in 2004 when blogs were things people only talked about in whispered conversations or not at all, and people had no capacity to imagine the iPhone and the way it would transform us into a culture of being "always on."
I'm actually afraid of doing this.
I'm afraid of disconnecting. There are already a host of voices clattering in my mind: What if you miss something important? What if you miss out on some opportunity? What if you're forgotten? What if your readers stop reading? What if your twitter followers stop following you? What if your friends stop emailing, commenting, caring? What if you're not missed at all? These are the voices in the head of a girl who is always on, always connected, always engaged in the field of digital media. This is where I do my work, share my stories, and connect to my tribe.
And because I have so many fears, I know it is exactly the right thing to do. I need to trust that you'll still be here. That the story I am telling matters not only when I'm here telling it, but in the quiet times too when I'm creating new work with every fiber of my being.
I need to trust that opportunities will still find me; that inspiration will come knocking on other doors; that connections will happen in other ways.
Because the work that I am doing to bring this book to fruition is really really important work.
So I'm asking you this: Will you hold this space gently for me while I'm gone for the next ten days?
I'll be back then, with stories to share and magic to tell.
All the love in the world, Christina