The most dangerous thing you’re going to do is drive. Because of the frequency in which we drive and the comfort we get from believing we’ve mastered techniques to maintain proper focus, we get into that “conscious incompetence” space where we increase our likelihood of being in an accident. Similarly, I seem to find myself doing the same with my writing, driving on automatic. I’m cruising along and I’m not paying attention to my surroundings.
The most frustrating aspect of writing for me right now is maintaining consistent focus. Yeah I get up and turn on the computer and I stare at the screen and I move one word here and one word there, but what am I really doing? I’m on automatic.
I need to wake up. I wrote the majority of my master’s thesis inside a week. But I had such an intense focus and completed months of research before that week. I was prepared because I was paying attention.
I’m sitting on my first novel. 15 chapters completed. I’m editing. Revising. Doing the sweeps I do at this stage as I go through and pull out the voice and insert details that will bring the story to life, breathing spirit into the pages.
This is the most exciting part of writing. I like all the stages, but I like the final revision stage the best. It’s great to see how characters come alive with metaphors and description that you didn’t know you had in you. I like the struggle and the element of surprise when I finally capture something in a unique and powerful way. It’s like dropping the game winning shot.
So why am I coasting? What happened to my drive? Maybe I hit a wall and I need to see myself through it. Maybe I’m waiting for my second wind. Maybe I better figure all this out before something happens and I miss the opportunity I’ve been working so hard to obtain.
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