I was beginning to get a little fatigued with this latest edit. Cleaning up the junk language, tightening up all the moments, trimming out the unnecessary. It felt like most of what I had written was crap; that it all needed serious work before it could be “ready”.
But I reached a few passages today that absolutely crackle with life and energy. Passages that had me laughing to myself while I sat in my darkened room reading jokes I myself had written, even though I already knew all the punchlines. Passages possessed of a sort of self-evident, unconcerned eloquent beauty, the like of which I would not attribute to myself. Passages that make me think maybe I’m not so bad at this writing thing after all.
This novel (and this blog for that matter) is keenly interested in the question of inspiration: where it comes from, how useful it is, what it can do for you when you have it. And by and large, I have come to believe that inspiration is just a bunch of baloney sandwiches. You either work or you don’t, but some days are better than others.
As I read my own work of the last year and a half, it’s encouraging — and kind of awesome — to see those flashes of inspiration peeking out through the cracks.
I like to liken (like to liken, tee hee) writing to a long, arduous slog through vine-darkened jungle, or to a hopeless trek in a desert. And it damn sure feels that way a lot of days. But every now and then, light penetrates the canopy and wakes up the critters on the jungle floor, and the rare flowers open their petals to the light. Here and there, water bubbles up to shape an oasis amid the scorching sands.
For now, though, it’s back into the caves.