Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sisyphus, Hemingway, and 115 Pages

For several days I have felt like Sisyphus. 

Again with the hills!
I have pushed my rock up the hill...then watched it roll back down.  I have reclaimed my rock and began again, and again, and again.  I keep repeating the unceasing task of finishing this novel. 

The past several days, I have stuggled to eke out a page, a paragraph...hell, even a decent sentence...worthy of the story that I have in my head.  To compensate for the lack of output, I have sketched out maps, staged future scenes, and made notes of impending action. 

Then FINALLY, last night, the words came...they poured onto the page.  I felt giddy and relieved and eager to keep working.  But I heeded the advice of Hemingway:  “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you’re rewriting a novel you will never be stuck.”  I stopped.  I scrawled the date to indicate what I had accomplished for the day, and I went to bed.

Today I hope to write over my lunch hour, and also to write tonight...when the children are asleep and the house is quiet.  I will make a cup of tea, perhaps light a candle, and I will take out my newly sharpened pencils and tuck my feet under me as I settle down to see what happens.  Perhaps the Muse will come, or perhaps I will pick up my rock again.  Either way, I will continue. 

July looms on the horizon...closer than I can dare imagine in this harsh light of winter, but there all the same; it waits for me.