Isn’t it amazing how books deliver just the message you need at the moment? I’ve been playing hide-n-go-seek with that #$%^ novel I thought I had finished last summer. But in my deepest, darkest mind I know there are still revisions that I need to make. I had just about convinced myself that I’d never get them done. Secretly, I was scared that I couldn’t make it happen. That I just don’t have the chops to really pull off long fiction. Coaches and editors lost interest, first readers never responded, agents wouldn’t have the ms on their desk, as if it might have polluted some sure best seller that might be lying around. All these ignorings felt like bad news from God. Then again, even God wouldn’t read this clunker. Whoa!
Stop it, dope slap! Work it instead of whining. And there, right on my coffee table is Natalie Goldberg’s Thunder and Lightning, in which she has a chapter about not finishing a novel because she was scared. And her solution is now my solution: let Wild Mind do the work. Anyone who knows me knows that I love organization. But compartmentalizing was stopping me from messing around with a ms that has been neatly tucked into its own box and labeled. I have been trapped in a box, too. It’s label says “plot, repair.” Instead I should open that box and go for an unlabeled moshpit of words on paper. I need to let go, have fun, follow whatever lead pops into my head. I can sort it out later. But first I will put my butt in the chair and get the pen moving.
Whew! Guess what? I’ve found clues to the scenes I want to add, and I believe they will deepen and enrich what’s already there. I’m baiting the hook and fishing for a big, fat, finally and finely finished novel. Thanks, Ms. Goldberg.