Friday, November 16, 2007

I'd Rather Be a Percolator Than a Drip

Chapter 19 is done. It took a little over a month. It came out a decent size and accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.

Now, on to Chapter 20, which is such a substantial rewrite of a portion of the previous draft that it will be like starting from scratch. I doubt I'll have time to start it until Monday, which gives me the weekend to ponder it and let it percolate.

My only regret in all of this is that I have to write on the sly, in moments both stolen and cribbed. It would be nice to be able to concentrate on it and to enjoy each small victory to its fullest. Writing well is difficult. This has become a truism among its practitioners. However, the counterbalance to that, the thing that encourages you to pull yourself off the mat after each time you've been decked, is the sublime satisfaction that comes from getting any part of it--a sentence, a phrase, a word--absolutely right.

I don't get much chance to savor the victories right now. Each one comes amidst a blizzard of other obligations and priorities. The satisfaction is still there, but it is truncated and worried. There's always one eye turned toward the next step, the next challenge.

And the only way to deal with that is to, from time-to-time, stop and ponder and let it percolate.