Whether I’m writing or plotting a campaign, I find the way is never straightforward. Much of the time it takes to accomplish something is not the actual writing (or doing), it’s what’s needed to allow things to assemble themselves.
Really — aren’t brains remarkable? To think of little thought molecules flying apart and then reassembling while we wait (and — sometimes — wait and wait). Then there’s the need for that oh-so-important red pencil, because, really, just because one paragraph flows from the next doesn’t mean that you don’t have a detour on your hands.
And it doesn’t seem to matter how much attention I’ve put into things beforehand. I can travel around with a project on my heart for a week or so, and still find that nothing is straightforward… Ideas and projects seem to have minds of their own! And part of the realization is that the way is never straight, there’s no one direct line between here and there.
Maybe the process is simply one of making Peace with the slow and meandering nature of project-making, of allowing myself to be informed by the information I gather and the need that’s trying to express itself. I’m certainly grateful for the opportunity… but it does take time, which sometimes makes me grumpy.
And discipline… I never thought I’d be great at the discipline part, but I guess I simply didn’t have anything I cared about enough to hone a craft. But even daily and weekly repetition of the craft doesn’t eliminate or even dwindle the amount of time a project needs to become what you want it to be and what it wants to be. I find the words teach me. I may think I have a clear idea where a story’s going and then it picks up and moves. Then I have a lot of work to do to discern whether I’m getting closer or farther away from the heart of the matter.
The vision of a spiral does help, to consider on working downward and inward on ever tighter circles, coming constantly closer to the heart of the work is an image that sustains — but really… sometimes I long for work that I can just get out of the way. I guess I should take up ironing! I’m not sure how ironing will contribute to world Peace, however…
So I guess I’ll walk the Peace spiral, do the hard work, and be grateful. Not everyone has the possibility, the privilege, of waking up and doing what you love. I do. And I give thanks. Peace be with you on the crooked, meandering spiral of life.