I let myself get stuck in the middle of a chapter I’m revising, and because I let myself get stuck, I let other things become more important. Books and television shows and concerts and time with the children, and while all of these things are important, nothing is as important as recognizing hurdles that need hurdling. Like this chapter in which I’m stuck.
Except I’m not stuck. Not really. I know where the chapter goes, and I know how the chapter starts, and I know all of the middle bits, but my process is tricky. I don’t like writing just to write, and I don’t like feeling that I’m writing just to get to a later point in the story/chapter/essay, knowing that I can always come back and revise. Knowing that I’ll need to come back and revise messes with the rhythm of the sentences. Repetition one way of linking together ideas and sentences and thoughts.
I’ve been stuck, and today, I got unstuck. I have tried, unsuccessfully, several ways of wading into this chapter, and each time I got more mired in what I wasn’t writing, and I walked away from it, and I let it kind of write itself for a while in my head, and last night I discarded a mental beginning, mostly because I didn’t like it, and today, while I was working on a Web site I’m developing for my boss, I wrote three sentences in my head, the last of which ends: I didn’t think hugging her was appropriate.
And I realized I had my way into the chapter.
Which is how I’ve spent most of my post-yoga and post-dinner evening — once Aurora was asleep and Avery was happy in front of his iPad and bowl of strawberry ice cream — mired, but happily so, inside this chapter that must be revised.
My friend Mallory, when she read some of these pages, told me that the magic of Thursday strikes again. She thinks that some of my best writing happens on Thursdays, and if she is right, then I’m OK living somewhere where every day of the week is a Thursday.