I stumbled across an article about the rise of arena rock. The article mentioned that Cream, on its farewell tour, headlined the first rock concert at Madison Square Gardens. That’s all it took for me to start streaming some Cream. As a big Cream fan, I enjoy a number of Cream songs. I started with “Strange Brew”, shifted to “Brave Ulysses”, followed with “Sunshine of your Love”, but then went to an old blues standby, “Crossroads”.
There I stayed, caught on the rock rhythm, but thinking about the lyrics, fixated on the final line. “And I’m standing at the crossroads, believe I’m sinking down.”
Every day brings a crossroads. You make choices. Some blindly follow the same road, and some willfully follow that road. Both refuse to consider the crossroads that they’ve reached, pressing on.
As writers, we’re often at crossroads about what a character will say or do, and how the story will change to advance the plot. Every day brings the opportunity to feel like you’re sinking down, or the belief that’s what’s happening. It’s easy to get caught there, especially when you thought you’d be making more progress, or that things would become easier. Each novel and chapter, though — each crossroad — is unique. You can learn some hints about how to navigate these places, but they often require a fresh approach.