Boat-Writing

The wind is kicking up again. This makes the fourth straight day. I try and ignore the creaking lines as wind backs to the east. It’s comforting in a way, to click away at my keyboard as Kwaietek gently rolls back and forth with the wind’s persuasion. (The howling gusts, I could do without however).

As I finish the latest chapter in my manuscript, I pause to count my words… over 40,000 now. I check my storyboard–half way through (almost). I try and calculate my progress- estimating the date I could finally say “Ta-da, ready for submission!” Of course, all of this only serves to quantify what I am creating–is it long enough?Am I writing fast enough?

Meanwhile, the boat continues to rock, the lines to creak and the tides to ebb and flow. I make a promise to myself to worry less about the how much’s and focus more on the how-to’s of the process. The characters start to talk to me as I write and as I dream. They already know “how to”… They  guide the story, help me to find the best path through the complexities–and as far as they are concerned, it doesn’t really matter whether the novel will be 280 pages or 365 pages or what the final word count will end up. The novel will last until their stories are done. Simple as that.

I think that must be what Kwaietek is trying to tell me as well. “Just be in the moment, don’t over think it, don’t push it and don’t fret about it. Just do it.”

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