Monday, July 6, 2009

An emotional time for me right now

There's a certain emotional cycle to this work that I've learned to recognize, and I'm depending on that to get me through the very fearful place I'm in right now. This too will pass, I hope.

I'm working on Chapter 9 (sticking with the most recent numbering--not yet accounting for chapters removed.) And it's not going well. I'm been thinking my problem is uncertainty about cutting out Ch. 8, but I don't think that's it now. Ch. 8 being cut does mean new patch work is needed in Ch. 9, but the real problem is a growing awareness of structural flaws already in Ch. 9 and uncertainty about how to fix them. Or how to define them and then fix them. That uncertainty is scary.

Most of the fear is self-inflicted. For one thing, I get in a clock-watching mode and start feeling anxious about how long this is taking. That's an arbitrary pressure, since there is no rule about when I have to be done with the book. And I should know by now that whenever I run into a problem like this it usually just means an extra day of work once I get past the anxiety and start really dealing with it. Not as fast as I want, but not a fatal blow to my time line either.

Anyway, those are some of the things I'm trying to tell myself this morning. But I remain stuck, cycling around blindly in the first few pages of Ch. 9 trying to figure out why it smells so bad. Hopefully I can approach it with a sense of calm this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest.

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