I’m writing a book. Have been for weeks.
Up until today, it’s felt like I was wielding a machete, hacking my way through gigantic hostile jungle plants as I made my way deeper and deeper into a dark, unknown forest.
I’ve had the strong sense that I’m headed somewhere, but it’s more a matter of faith than knowledge. I think I’m headed in the right direction. But there is no sensory feedback to corroborate that sense.
In fact, the further I hack my way in, the darker it gets, the deeper, and the more I have to hang onto the Ariadne-thread of faith and the blind conviction that, because I’ve done this before and it’s worked, surely to God it’ll work again this time. At least I hope so.
Today I swung the mental machete for hours, sitting at my desk, pacing my home office, gazing out at the garden, the treeline and meadow beyond, the distant ring of mountains, none of it offering a clue as to what I should be pecking onto my laptop keyboard. Must have been eight times, maybe ten (maybe fifty) that I said, “Okay, enough for today, I should pay bills … catch up on email … write a blog post … find some laundry to fold.”
But I knew it was only the seduction of faux ennui, the mental lactic acid buildup that comes from genuine neural effort.
And then, the foliage broke.
By the time I finally quit, to go meet up with Ana and take her to dinner at our favorite place, for the first time (on this project) I felt I wasn’t any longer hacking my way into the jungle, but starting, just starting, to hack my way through it. Not like I can see any sunlight on the far side, not yet. But at least the deep mottled green isn’t getting any darker.
Maybe even a bit lighter.
I head out to dinner, expecting that I’ll feel exhausted. Instead, I feel only exhilarated.