Found these much-needed passages from Nancy Slonim Aronie’s Writing from the Heart, which has been sitting unread on my book shelf for far too long. I say much-needed because I’ve been feeling less enthusiastic about writing lately ( yes, it does happen!) I just finished the second draft of AMfC, which I could only be thrilled about until I’m reminded of the endless hours of revision ahead of me.
For the past year, I’ve been writing four to five days a week, two to four hours per day. Typically, I sit down not really feeling up to the task–I ease into the actual writing by alternating between windows: one that has the draft on, the one with Facebook on (portal to other distracting stuff on the web) and a real window that seduces with the beautiful day out (even rain can seem inviting sometimes). Caffeinated and sugary inducements are employed, but I have become less dependent on those (sticking to my resolutions). I have developed a certain level of discipline.
But the pleasure is waning. I feel my shoulders tighten, my right arm turning into a rigid sleeve as I jot down pages. An urgency gripping the body when I couldn’t grasp at a word or a plot direction. A seed of dread at the realisation that a character or a scene is inconsistent, and God knows how many hard-earned sentences I will have to slash to restore the order. It has even come to a point where I actually look forward to working out (not a bad thing, I guess.)
But I need the enjoyment back. The pleasure of opening to possibilities and trying out different words, seeing how they shift the tone of the sentence or the flavour of the thought. The wording of an imagery, the re-imagining of people and scenes. I hope to rediscover the fun, see the process as a journey rather than a race. I wouldn’t want to fall out of love with what I’m doing.