I’m ashamed to say that I’m supposed to be writing my book right now. Or rather, editing it and rewriting as necessary. Having found the perfect location to work on the project, and having spent the last two days reading through the 87,000 words I put to rest back in the summer, I am intimidated by the prospect of digging back into the words. So this blog post is emerging as a vocalisation of that concern.
The book as it stands was poured out during the course of this spring, to the exclusion of all else. It’s been so surprising and eye-opening to read it back. It’s shown how deep within the mindset of retrospection I’d had to sink. The storytelling is enjoyable to follow (if I do say so), but complicatedly involved in itself, as if the author had effortless access to a vast library of material in which to wrap the sequence of events that forms the main storyline.
I’m so far away from that place, now, that I feel the need to write about myself as an author in the third person, so little idea do I have of how to go back there. What I’m now doing — standing poised with a scalpel over a piece of work I no longer fully understand — feels futile and presumptuous.
How can I get back to a zone where I feel that my edits, deletions and additions will improve the book, rather than destroy or erode its original essence — where I feel that I am once again master of my own subject matter? That’s a question to which I have no answer, and why you’re reading this blog post.
Perhaps a good place to start would just be to write afresh, without any reference to the existing text. Attempt to write what I think needs to be written, do what’s necessary to write it well, and then look later on for a way to somehow plumb the old into the new, assuming that such a way will eventually show itself.
Yes. That is what I’m going to do.