How Mercury Retrograde can help your writing

Dear Reader,

A week ago, my beloved MacBook died. DIED!

I was about to start that day’s Rockstar Writers session when the screen died. Everything else was working but the screen said no more. After my hysterics, my  second thought was to look at the calendar. Mercury Retrograde was the next week. Then everything made sense. It was time to hunker down.

What is Mercury Retrograde? 

It’s the period where the planet Mercury slows down its orbit so much that it looks like it’s moving backwards, there for it is in retrograde motion.

It happens a couple of times a year and it lasts about 3 weeks.

What does that mean?

Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, travel, and mechanical tool related to those things like automobiles and computers. The past also comes back to haunt you in several ways. Maybe someone you haven’t hear from appears about of the blue. Maybe you think about situations and things that you had forgotten about from your past.

That also means that you’re going to have several conversations over and over again. There will be misunderstandings  and things. And, yes, your computer may join mine in that microchip in the sky.

Also, this isn’t a time to sign contracts or make life-altering decisions. Just FYI.

How does that apply to your writing?

The great thing about Mercury Retrograde is that it is really about pausing and taking a deep look at things. It’s about reassessing, revising, reviewing, relaxing. It’s about getting some things done.

Which is probably why communication and travel are so wonky at the moment. Seriously, Mercury Retrograde is bad for communications but FANTASTIC for writing. While I don’t recommend starting something new, I do recommend to take this time to look at some things associated with your writing.

Reassess and Review

Don’t start your new project until after Sept. 22.  A new book or project is technically a new contract, which is a no-no during this time. However, this means that that story you started but couldn’t finish is up for grabs. That means that that book you’re still working on (cough Jennie Manning cough) is still good to tinker with.

The difference? You have to reaccess and review. That means slow down and have a deep think about your work and the direction it’s going. Some good questions to ask would be:

  • Is this the direction I want my work to go in?
  • Is this the direction I want to go in as a writer/artist?
  • Does this fill me and make me happy?
  • What do I need to do to streamline my process (if at all)?
  • Do I understand my process?
  • Does this work make sense right now? How does it need for it to grow to its full potential?

This is a great time to take something you started but then put away and to play with it. Who knows what will come from it now!

Revision

As I’ve told my students before, revision means to re-envision the writing. Revision is the act of molding your work over and over until it is where you want it.

Retrograde is a perfect time to get that done since you have to slow down and think. Go crazy in this aspect of things. Rework and re-envision your work.

Also needing some revision is your creative space. This is a perfect time to clear and streamline the space where you create. That could be your desk, your bookshelf (creation also happens during reading), or your cell phone/tablet apps. Indeed, anything that you use to create.  Since you’re being more intentional with your work during this period, then you should start with a clear slate.

Relax

This one is will be hard because it’s the beginning of the submission season. And if you’re anything like me, you’re wanting to go hard right now on the submissions. It’s the perfect time to attack submit!

But haven’t you been busy writing? Isn’t it time to take a break anyway?

I know the compulsion now is to submit, submit, submit. I, personally, am going to limit my submission these three weeks and focus more on the revision part of my writing. I only have one day scheduled for submissions during this month.

Here’s my logic for this: the deadlines will always be there, especially after Retrograde. For those I feel compelled to submit to, I’ll do during the submission blitz. After the 22nd, I’ll pick it back up.

Meanwhile, I’m gonna chill because Retrograde.

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I can’t say much about my departed MacBook Pro (sigh) but the work continues and so does the writing. Until Retrograde finishes, I’m taking it easy and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to finish the second draft of Jennie Manning.

Happy writing!

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