In a Ferment about Writing

by Elouise


I’ve been in a ferment since Sunday evening. The kind that begins with strange dreams I can’t remember when I wake up. They aren’t frightening or foreboding, though they’re regularly about circumstances that don’t quite make sense.

Happily, I have an active role in these dream scenarios, so I’m not a victim. Still, I’m not certain what it all means. I’ve been going back to my Reclamation Dream, wondering how that dream might offer further insight.

The ferment is about writing. I don’t plan to stop. Yet if I’m going to write as much and as often as I feel the urge to write these days, I need to change my habits.

  • I usually write best in the mornings, so I’m making changes in my calendar and making sure I have inviting space for writing. What will I give up? Change? Rearrange?

Then there are the books I’m reading. I want to protect reading time, not just writing time. The books are wonderful. Some are about writing. Most are about other things—novels, mysteries, poetry, biographies, recovery from trauma.

  • For example, I’m re-reading George MacDonald’s novel, Lilith. It was the last book he wrote before he died. Working through his Diary of an Old Soul gives me a better grasp of the way he thinks. In addition, major themes in the sonnets are played out in vivid, riveting detail in Lilith.

Today I began clearing the deck in my office. Not symbolically, but with some finality. In my attic and closets I still have boxes of files and books left over from years of teaching and being an administrator. This isn’t the first time I’ve cleared the deck. I wish it were the last!

When I retired I heaved hundreds of files into the shredder, and gave away an uncounted number of books. But there’s that much more I’ve marked for clearance. Mainly because that part of my life has ended. I thought I’d feel sad or torn about throwing some things away. But I didn’t! In fact, I feel 10 pounds lighter.

Besides being in a ferment about writing, I enjoyed Sabbath rest immensely. After a rousing church service yesterday, we spent time with our son and his family, then went for a late afternoon walk at Valley Forge National Park—with hundreds of other happy children, teenagers, adults and dogs!

So here’s what I’m wondering today:

  • How do you protect reading or writing time?
  • What do you do with your accumulated treasures and relics?
  • Or, if you’d prefer, what are you reading right now or planning to read soon?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 October 2015
Bookcover image from an excellent review at