Tennessee Williams' name was formerly Thomas Lanier Williams; he dropped the first and middle names, adopting the name of a state where he didn't live (he originated in Mississippi, which would have sounded weird). Thereafter his art soared to a new level, or as Gore Vidal stated in a new introduction of The Judgment of Paris, "An entirely new and splendid writer had spun his way out of what had originally been a moth's chrysalis."
Vidal himself did the coccoon mambo, further stating in the introduction, "My first novels were written in what I called 'the national manner'; as flat literal naturalistic style. Then I came to write this book (The Judgement of Paris)."
In shedding his old style, his career spanned decades, still writing to this day.
As I read the intro to Judgment I saw myself there, my style a blend of what I thought worked and what I'd learned from others. My days of direction and focus slowly diluted to ones of aimless meanderings.
Recently by choice I quit writing, knowing that I was going around in circles, which always leads to the same conclusion. My gut said it was time to quit; my heart said, "But you'll be back." After letting life have its way with me the past month and a half, which included suffering the loss of my dog, dealing with a new home and the stress of selling the old one, I felt the cocoon fold around me.
While in chrysalis I found a new direction - grew new wings. But rather than leap into the air blindly, I'll slowly unfold and let the breeze take me through what's to be. And although I'm a few weeks out from sitting down and actually diving back into my Epic In Progress, I'll do so with a clean slate and strong wings - no crumbs for the hungry inner critic to savor.
I have my support systems in place; they know who they are and never left my side throughout (special thanks to Edie, Erica O, LaDonna, Marcia & Nancy) - wonderful writers who've supported me through my journey to limbo and back. I'm fortunate to know this special group of talent.
No regrets - that's my life and there's nothing I'd change.
P.S. I'M BACK!