"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on
your forehead." (attributed) Gene Fowler 1890- 1960
"No turning back" was the theme of this year's Gay Pride Parade. When I thought about it, that could also be my writer's theme. I've gone so far, spent so many years, working on my novel that, in spite of days when I could just give up, I'm at the point of no return.
No turning back!
The quote above about the drops of blood forming on your forehead is true. There are some days when you sit at the computer and stare at a blank screen. No words are produced. Thoughts drift to other things, anything to distract from the task at hand. Yes folks, writing is hard work!
Of course, there's the days when things just flow as easy and sparkling as a mountain cascade.
In between though, it's like slogging through mud. But you just have to keep going, and hope that the Muse will shower you with a cascade of brilliant words.
This week I've dedicated most of my time (in spite of the sunshine and lure of the beach) to work on my novel. (I also finished editing a travel article.) For the first couple of days I did revisions on my last chapter. It seems that no matter how many times you go over a piece you'll find ways to improve it. By yesterday, red pen in hand, I'd improved it as much as I can for now, so it's time to move on. I've assembled all the bits and pieces necessary for the next chapter. Several paragraphs are already written and, like a jig-saw puzzle must be hooked together. It's another one of those tricky chapters but if I put my mind to it, suffer through, it will eventually come together.
I've had a random way of working on this novel. The beginning and end were written long ago and so were many of the internal pieces. Now, so close to the end, there are several passages that have been pre-written so I'm simply filling in the missing pieces.
But this is a crucial part of the story and deals with some tricky political issues which have required a lot of extra research and time to ponder the best way to convey the many intrigues which eventually bring the story (the eventual end of Alexander's dynasty) to its close. I just wish I had a mentor who was an expert on ancient Greek politics to coach me.
But I'll do the best I can and hope that it all turns out.
My goal is to finish this part (Part IV) by the weekend. Wish me luck!
"Between my finger and my thumb-
The squat pen rests
I'll dig with it."
Seamus Justin Heaney (1939 - ) "Death of a Naturalist" (1966) "Digging"