To Begin Again (and Again)
I keep writing my way around and into chapter one.
I guess it's okay, as long as I stay thoughtful about my direction and not mired in details. I certainly got mired yesterday. I'd gotten a single paragraph down but couldn't find my way forward. I obsessed about it all afternoon and into the evening.
I read the first few pages of some other memoirs—Dani Shario's Slow Motion, Mary Karr's Cherry. Bad idea. I saw immediately the chasm between their work and mine. Every word I wrote after that felt pedestrian and wrong.
This morning I tried a new angle. I wrote freehand, which seems to help. The words gushed out of my pen, and when I got to the office I typed the few pages into a Word document and felt better about the whole thing.
Is it good? Who knows.
Probably not, but at least it's something. And I'm learning. I'm learning how to craft a scene without sacrificing immediacy for exposition. Learning how to keep the language lean and visceral. Even if it's taking me this entire summer to compose a paltry few pages.