Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't plan for the future

Talking things over with my wife today (which I do to help me get unstuck, especially when it's fear that has me stuck), I had a little bit of an intellectual breakthrough -- which is that I have to forget about the chapters to come sometimes.

Part of what's holding me back is the sense that the path I'm going down with this chapter will call into question the necessity of later chapters. And for a variety of reasons--some just stubborn fear of work going to waste, some legitimate technical reasons--I want those chapters to be there.

I have to stop trying to stagemother that situation. Just write the chapter I'm working on and then deal with the consequences. Because otherwise what's happening is that I'm holding back--trying not to do too much with this chapter so that there is something worthwhile to do later--and that's not good for the current chapter.

And the consequence doesn't necessarily have to be the deletion of a chapter later on. More likely is that the scenario can stay and the significance of it and how it develops and how people behave in that situation would change.

If so, the temptation is to try and think that all the way through and plan it out now, but I'm thinking it's wiser not to plan too much for the future even when I'm feeling confident about it. That's just stagemothering with more of a sense of success. Let it go and just focus on this chapter and then deal with the consequences later.

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