Monday, October 15, 2007

Letting it stew

Work on my novel appears to have stopped completely. That's partly because I was sick, partly because I've been busy. But I know the real reason is fear and boredom. As I've written before, paraphrasing Jane Smiley, the fear and boredom are really a symptoms of something else.

So even though work has stopped, I'm trying to take comfort from the theory that it's continuing to stew--that I'm mulling it over and figuring out what the story can be and what it's problems are.

I'm pretty sure that my subconscious continues to work away at it, though you can never really be sure about that, can you? You just get the occassional hint when something pops through to the consciousness, and I'm getting those. Yesterday I had a moment when I thought, "Oh, what if my character . . . . "

The biggest danger is not respecting the work that it takes and making lame excuses. I know I sound like I'm in that space, but I don't feel like I am. So I'm not worrying about it right now.

Everyone's process is different. For me, right now I'm feeling like if I make progress on other parts of my life--shaping my professional responsibilities so that I can take advantage of the writing impulse when the opportunity comes--then that's a kind of necessary progress too.

Hopefully more honest work to report on about my novel soon.

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