It feels a little like stepping off the bowsprit into the deep, and watching the boat sail away.
Today I began free writing the new (yet untitled) novel, longhand, in a wide-lined composition book. It feels scary, but less so in longhand on a schoolgirl’s notebook than directly onto the computer. I can write notes in the margins, I can doodle, I can line through but not delete or obliterate. My composition book is my flotation device. (I’m not a good swimmer!)
My writing process, like my swimming or skiing, has always been effective, exhilarating, but awkward to watch. A little out of control. Not exactly precise. But I’m getting somewhere.
When I write I feel like I’m gasping, grasping, flailing, drowning; until I write that one electrifying paragraph, that one sentence that feels like yes! It’s the spark of life itself; God reaching down out of the clouds of the Sistine Chapel with outstretched hand. I know those words will come and that faith keeps me paddling, keeps me from giving up.
After the first draft, which might be little more than a narrative outline with fragments of dialogue thrown in, I’ll put it onto the computer, adding as I go. Then I’ll have a rough draft, which will feel like a rough raft on that deep frightening ocean of subconsciousness. All I have to do then is fashion a sail and try to find my way home.