Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Muddled Phase

Photo by Noel Lee

Today I came across several nonstops that I'd done when I started Black Box several years ago. These quotes perfectly nail how I'm feeling now and it always seems to help when I reread about how I felt before:

“Gah! I hate all this muddled thinking I'm doing. Just completely mushed up and tangled. Nothing clear, nothing right. A mess. Ideas float in and out. Who knows if they're any good? They sort of fit, but then need modification. I just don't know what I'm doing. It all feels like a stupid idea, I should just give it up and go write something simpler. But . . . I do recall feeling this way about Arena. And about Eidon, for that matter. So. Again, I must walk by faith. And again I am in the fog. Where I can't tell if I'm going forward or backward, where I'm going, if I'm actually going anywhere, or just in a circle.

“In fact, it's hard to even think about any of it. As I start to grope for it mentally, it seems to recede and fall into a jumble. I want to wrest it all into order, and yet there's nothing to hold onto. Not even a direction to head in.

“... urk and urk. Swirling again. Maybe I should just try and write it. I don't know. I guess I need to lie down or iron or something. Something constructive. Something besides just sitting here staring at the wall having half-formed thoughts flit in and out. It's maddening. Maybe I should just paint. Or clean or . . . but I don't want to do any of those. I want some order. I want a map. I want it now. I have to make it myself. My brain won't cooperate. "

[... and then my mind flits to something that is completely irrelevant but bothering me at the time.]

“Where was I? Trying to distract myself? Is this avoidance behavior? I don't know what to do. Sit and wait, or just try to make something emerge...

“Oh this is a waste. My brain is dust. Ash. Urk and urk. And urk. So many distractions. I am becalmed again. There seems to be an awful lot of that. I need to rebound and ask for guidance because there doesn't seem to be any... Maybe I shouldn't be waiting for some great surge of "it's right!" Maybe I should just look at what I've got and go with it, whether I feel good about it, or not. Just do the plan I have.”


“Okay, I was frustrated, angry. I have need of patience. I need to trust Him to provide and to be content in whatever state I find myself. And if that state is in not finding the lost object --AGAIN -- then that is what I will be content with. Or not finding the answer. That's what it is. It's not an object, it's an answer. An understanding. And I haven't found it. And I feel as if I should be able to find it now. Immediately. But I can't. I look inside and only incoherent thoughts fly by. Not even floating anymore, more like whirling, breaking apart, joining with others and breaking apart. Maybe that's what's going on. I don't know. Maybe I should just give it up and iron. But I feel that I must get busy on this book. That I must be professional and work. That I must use my time wisely, when it seems all I do is write endless, worthless nonstops that get me nowhere.”

Well, maybe not worthless in retrospect. Repeatedly rediscovering them and then going through the same process again is starting to beat the fact into my thick head that maybe this muddled experience REALLY is a part of the process, just like the books say and my experience indicates. And that trying to force things isn't going to work so I might as well give that up and relax.

I did finish up the scene in Ch 1 I was working on and move on to reading and editing Ch 3.

Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all the readers out there who are moms.