We need time to defuse, to contemplate. Just as in sleep our brains relax and give us dreams, so at some time in the day we need to disconnect, reconnect, and look around us. —Laurie Colwin

Last weekend, I went to a conference. This was a conference that I had been attending annually since 2006, until the pandemic. The first year, the conference was canceled. The next two, it was held remotely. This was the first time we had come together in three years. It was wonderful. And exhausting.

I reconnected with many writer friends I had only seen on facebook or zoom, and I felt the electric energy of remembering them, and the beauty of their work, their passion, and their graceful minds. But the funny thing was that I hadn’t even realized how much I had missed them. But, at the same time, I had to put in the work of being with people, the work of listening and remembering. I’m a little out of practice, and it made me tired, but in a way that felt healthy, as if I were stretching my muscles.

I feel this way sometimes when I unearth an old manuscript or writing project. Often, I’ll put something in a drawer when a project stalls or I become frustrated with it. But when I return to it after a while, I can see what drew me to it in the first place. I remember the good in it. And I’ll realize that I missed it.

If you have an old writing project, spring can be a wonderful time to revisit it. Take a look and see if you remember why you thought it was worth writing in the first place. You may find that you’re ready to reconnect. It can be exhilarating.