Friday, May 16, 2008


This has been my dwelling for the past week. As though I squat on the dirt floor of a dark hut, the door is closed, and only weak light is filtering through the straw. I find myself in this place every so often, not knowing I am there until I have sat in a scene for too long, rewriting, moving, adjusting, with no further clarity. As a matter of fact, much the opposite: I have created more murk with my continued stirring. I then allow the clouds to roll in with dark ponderings, such as, does anything in my story make sense or have a point?

Usually, it boils down to one of these issues:

(a) I focused in too close to the story and forgot the forest for the trees
(b) I have moved too far away from the story and can only see the forest not the trees
(c) I made a wrong turn somewhere and have left the forest altogether

Hence, the state of myopia.

When I am in (a), I fell too far out of the wind currents that carry the plot forward and am stagnating in minutia. When I am in (b), I have become overwhelmed by the expanse of the forest and need to talk myself down from that highest tree. When I am in (c), it usually takes me a little while to realize it, then I eventually come to terms that I must go back and read a few chapters like a map and find my proper course.

I do believe that I have gone through all of the phases in this particular myopia, but I think it will ultimately be (c) that will set me right. Sometimes I wonder if (a) and (b) are not the signs for me that I have done (c) and that it happens this way every time. I will have to pay closer attention. Hence, this journal.

If anyone stops by to read, what about you? Do you ever find yourself tripped up for a week or longer? How do you feel? What does it tell you? What do you do to move on?

Hugs, C


Anonymous Jen said...

Um, I just say I'm stuck. I don't end up in a hut with dark, and dirt, and straw and light, because I'm just not that lyrical.

I start out with a sense of unease about the story, which morphs into anxiety about my ability to complete the story, which in turn becomes full-blown panic that I'll never finish anything again for the rest of my life because I'm not good enough dammit!

Unless I'm facing some sort of deadline, I usually take the coward's way out and work on something else (until I'm stuck on the new piece, then out of desperation I return to the first piece). This is not a practice I'd recommend.

Have you considered installing electricity in your hut?

11:07 AM  
Blogger Cynthia Valero said...

I should install a bar and hang party lights. But then I might get too comfortable and not want to find my way out. :-)

I get the same anxiety as you. Thank goodness it does not last long. Once I understand the feeling to be road signs that I missed my turn, I start to feel better.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

time to post again...nudge, nudge

3:05 PM  

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