Lately I have been starting a new book and my computer is filling with beginnings. Tens of them. None the right one, but all valuable. Some beginnings will become earlier or later chapters. Some won’t get used at all but will help me choose characters I want to keep for the long run. Some will let me play with a scene I know I’ll want to include at some point.
This works great -- the writing itself -- as long as I’m enjoying the process. As soon as my left brainish “shoulds” wedge their way into my thinking, I’m cooked. Then the “this-isn’t-rights” and “you’re-wasting-times” stomp on my pleasure and grind my writing to bits of broken taillight. “PRIORITIZE!” My long-dead asholic uncle slaps his riding crop against his thigh and my writing pleasure dissolves in a pool of criticism.
I sit back. I know better than this. I know that in creative writing this demand for order and logic and planning is no friend. Not of mine, anyway. No friend of inspiration. I breathe. I scour the house for a wheel of cheddar. I walk outside and feel the difference on my skin. I cast an imaginary yellow-belly Humpy through an imaginary riffle. I bounce a hard dribble and loft a twenty-foot jumpshot through an imaginary nothing-but-net. I guitarpick a tricky riff that my brain plays better than my hand. And zip zop . . . ready again . . . I imagine.
Ready to look through my screen and type what I see. Ready to enjoy writing. Ready to trust the process. Hoo boy, I can almost feel it. Here comes another word!