It's a tired cliché that life is a journey of discovery. Repeated often because all of us have had experiences where our paths have diverged. So too with writers.
I've been working on my book of linked short stories for years now. Finding time to write while holding down a full-time job isn't easy. I've been lucky in that I've managed to carve out small breaks at work and I've had the good fortune of being accepted into a mentorship program and a writing retreat. But there have also been many delays and interruptions in my writing schedule.
The last four months have been extremely busy at work. I've put in many hours of overtime and come home physically exhausted and mentally spent. So writing has taken a back seat out of necessity. Definitely not choice.
With the summer approaching, I looked for an opportunity to reinvigorate my creative juices and jump back into the book. And I found an opportunity right here on Vancouver Island. The Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA) is holding workshops in July, including one with Shaena Lambert called Going Deeper: Writing and Revising Fiction. It sounded exactly like what I needed.
And then life took a left turn. All my hours of hard work at the office opened up an opportunity for me to spend the summer at national headquarters. Six weeks of work in the National Capital followed by a trip home to Halifax to visit my family. It seems too good to pass up. Even if it does mean missing the writing workshop and delaying my re-entry into the book by a few more months.
For anyone who loves adventure, travel and discovering new places, an offer like this is manna from heaven. All the thrill of experiencing living in another city without any of the anxiety of uprooting myself, leaving my life here behind and starting anew. Maybe this is the path to renewing my creative juices. A path I didn't see coming or plan for, but an irresistible divergence all the same.
A tiny footnote to this post: life took another turn in late June and I was unable to go to Ottawa. Here's hoping the journey brings other sweet surprises this summer.