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On Finding Sweet Spots
I have been working on my first novel for five years, and it is three-quarters done, but something repeatedly slows my progress. Often it is a commitment or responsibility that limits personal writing time. Or anxiety showing up as procrastination and perfectionism. But there are other occasions when the obstruction is more opaque and unknowable. When I attempt to push through, I run into a kind of writer's block, a sticky blankness that is impossible to self-improve my way through.
It has meant that I have to stay, a very reluctant babysitter, with the characters in my book longer than I want to. At most such times, I change a phrase or add an unnecessary sentence, all the work I do on the book that day. On rare occasions, entire paragraphs rearrange themselves in a way I had not planned. Or a side character says something unexpected, out of character even, and it's essential to get to know them again.
I understand this is likely the mercurial nature of the creative process and how writing works. But every time this happens, my deadline for completing the book gets pushed out by a little more.
Effort, timing, and sweet spots
It's made me wonder if there is a timing and a serial unfolding process to events in one's life, and one cannot simply push forward and through. Should we be on the lookout for sweet spots of effort and timing, where we act with decisive agency yet cooperate receptively with unseen, mystery elements? This is an idea that I am currently exploring.
Why this Substack
I am starting this Substack to chronicle my writing journey, and creative process, as I
try to finish the novel in the first half of 2023. I was a blogger for nearly a decade (late 2008-2018), and what I miss most from that time is the community that quickly formed around similar interests. I’m looking forward to connecting with others readers and writers!
I hope you’ll subscribe and we can stay in touch. It’ll be fun!
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