The Turn

The turn I’ve encountered with my muse and the characters develops into a complex scene. I struggle to see the setting and put the pieces together.

It’s not writing block. This is like trying to solve a complex logic puzzle by assembling and analyzing disparate bits of information. Part of me is bucking against the muse, because it’s work, and I feel like I should understand it before I write it, while the muse just encourages me, “Don’t worry, just type.”

Part of this is laziness of the whiny, I-don’t-wanna immature sort. It’s groan-inducing work to think about how this fits into what has happened and seeing how these twists and turns affect the ending.

Part of it is annoyance of the sort experienced when you think you’re almost done and then experience a last-minute delay.

A friend comes by. I haven’t seen him in a few months. He apologizes for interrupting me,. I brush that off, and we chat. (His interruption secretly relieves me.)

His wife died of lung cancer almost two years ago. He’s been at a loss and he’s now seeing a grief counselor. He’s visiting his son and grandchildren, and his brothers. One brother lives down in Healdsburg, he said, which surprises me. I thought this brothers live in Chicago and New York. Yes, the one that lives in Ithaca still has a place there, and still teaches one semester a year at Cornell, but has decided to live in California for most of the year.

We chat further and exchange offers and promises. Who knows if we’ll keep them?

Returning to writing, I realize that his interruption was fortunate. As my muse knows, I over-analyze. Part of my issue when I do that is I fall into the weeds of the details. Down there, I can’t see the larger parts and picture.

I know and recognize this from my days as an analyst. It was always useful, after being presented with a problem, collecting and compiling information, to walk away and let my subconscious mind work on what it’s seen without the interference of my conscious mind and its foibles. Because I knew that worked, I cultivated the methodology and was successful with it. Collect, compile, regard, walk away, and then come back. The break always allowed me to see with sharpened focus and new clarity.

It happened today with the writing as well. Resuming, I understand where the muse is taking me and what I need to type. Lesson learned, once again.

Now I can write like crazy, at least one more time.

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