Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Mid-Semester Progress Report

So, the whole slowing down and letting go thing?

It took just under a month, both a hard-work month and a vacation of a month. Letting go meant songs on the piano, meant Friday night candles, movies, nothing grand. Slowing down meant looking up, looking left and right, too, just paying attention. Playing meant new rituals (and some old ones too), little magic things like candlelit writing, timed writing, lemon water. It meant going back to where I came from; it meant poetry, lots and lots of poetry. It meant fewer pages, more crazy discoveries, and not just about writing, either.

The verdict from my advisor, after my latest packet? She is loving the results in the spare pages I sent her. my writing cup


But… now she wants more. More words, more pages. Wait, what? I thought we were taking things easy. I thought we were floating. I have settled into a nice new rhythm now. Now she says, remember how you talked to me about goals before? So yeah, it is time to get back to those. I’m going to need at least a new chapter from you soon; I am going to need 40 to 50 pages of new writing from you soon, I am going to need a novel beginning from you, after all.

What? Damn! 🙂

Of course she is right, as always.

So here is the thing, the takeaway. Are you feeling comfortable in your life, your writing life?

Then consider shaking things up. Whether you’ve been working too hard, or floating, don’t get too used to it, maybe? Don’t allow yourself to settle, like the taste of lemon water, on the bottom of the glass.



October 15, 2013 - Posted by | Personal Mirror, VCFA Adventures, Writing Mirror | ,


  1. Sounds as if your “time off” was just what you needed, Katia. I need just the opposite, since most of my days include just the slightest snatches of writing. In my case, it’s just plain laziness. 😦

    Comment by maggymoogie | October 15, 2013 | Reply

    • Then you know what you need to do! A poem every morning? Some free writing each night? Those slightest daily snatches…can you prolong them? Good luck and hugs, K

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 15, 2013 | Reply

  2. Shake it baby! And happy writing.

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | October 15, 2013 | Reply

  3. Isn’t it always like that? Finding that balance is so hard. Writing with candles and drinking lemon water sounds lovely. Hopefully you can find a way to incorporate those rituals into your new routine. You can do it!

    Comment by nan marino | October 15, 2013 | Reply

    • Right, Nan? it always is like that. And no worries, I have fallen too much in love with lemon water, candles and such things to give them up now. 🙂 xo

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 15, 2013 | Reply

  4. I have sent my manuscript off to a workshop and have been told not to touch it until I get there. It is kind of an odd feeling after working so intently on it for so long, but I, too, am working on some smaller things and more poetry. It’s kind of nice. But I know when I get to the workshop, everything will be ramped way up. Then I will miss this quiet time.

    Comment by Rosi | October 15, 2013 | Reply

    • I am sure it’s all good for you, Rosi! Enjoy the quiet while it lasts, and then enjoy the hard work, too. Good luck with the workshop!

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 15, 2013 | Reply

  5. Yay for you, Katia 🙂 It IS good to change pace if your routine stifles you or makes you stagnant. SO glad it worked for you 🙂

    Comment by writersideup | October 15, 2013 | Reply

  6. I don’t know if I was in a rut exactly, or stifled — definitely not stagnant. It was more like lost. Thanks, anyway!

    Comment by Katia Raina | October 15, 2013 | Reply

  7. I like writing to the rhythm of new or old rituals. I believe in shaking things up.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | October 15, 2013 | Reply

    • I didn’t used to believe in rituals, M. Now I know better 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 16, 2013 | Reply

  8. Great advice, as always, Katia.

    Comment by ellenramsey | October 18, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks, Ellen. I’m glad. Use it well!

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 18, 2013 | Reply

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