Writing is a lot like golf. It only takes one good swing to keep you hacking away for another 18 holes.
While working on the first draft of Lost & Found I inadvertently setup a really awesome situation. The options were limitless. With that came pressure not to screw it up.
So, I tentatively started into the scene, worried about letting myself (and the reader) down. Yet, as the scene unfolded, the goals, the obstacles, the failures and the victories became clear to me. The words were visual and creative and descriptive and effective. (A lot of ‘ives’ I know).
I was so excited when I was done. I felt like I hit a homerun in the bottom of the 9th to win the game. Or, to stick with my original analogy, hit the ball off the first tee with force, driving it straight and deep down the fairway.
Remember, preceding this moment of zen, I had been whining on this blog about how much of a struggle the writing process had been for me; having to write the outline backwards, writing words and hoping most of them would remain in the second draft. Stuff like that.
It’s like I had spent the previous day slicing the ball, digging it out of hazards and high grass and fishing it out of the water, with triple bogies and impatient foursomes behind me screaming to let them hit through. But that one drive made me sign up for a lifetime membership.
That’s how addictive this writing thing can be when rare moments of inspiration hit.
It reminds me of painful relationships I was involved in while in college. You date a girl. She’s cute. She likes you. Then she stops calling. You wait by the phone. Nothing happens. You still wait by the phone. Nothing happens. You see her in class, she barely acknowledges your presence. Then, one day you happen upon her in the cafeteria and you share a lunch. You laugh, have a good time, she touches your hand, thanking you for picking up the tab. Your heart flutters and you forget all of the anguishing minutes waiting by a silent phone. You have hope once again that your relationship can be saved.
It’s that kind of false hope, but in writing, it’s more like fleeting awesomeness.
I may never get another one of those writing nirvana moments for the rest of this novella. Or the next one, for that matter. More than likely all of the future words I ever write will by 99% work and 1% inspiration.
But, it doesn’t matter.
I had one of those extraordinary moments where it all clicked. Like hitting that perfect drive or the touch of a thoughtless girlfriend; momentary joy that makes all of the prior and future suffering not so bad.
I have the second half of the novella ahead of me. And, for the first time in a few weeks, I’m really looking forward to writing it.