I bounced back as desired yesterday. Unfettered by my self-doubt and worries about what I was doing, my imagination rode a Saturn rocket to new heights. I wrote a long character and situation snapshot regarding the character, chapter and their role in the novel. Felt glorious when that was finished and now feel ready to return to attacking the chapter.
Yes, attacking. Sometimes, even when you love something, you must attack it but the attack must be without malice. In this case, I think of yet another metaphor for writing the novel.
I've had so many metaphors, similes and analogies comparing writing to other activities. In this example, writing the novel is a marathon. This chapter, late in the run, is a challenging hill. I must surmount this hill to finish.
This chapter is my wall. I'm hitting the wall.
Runners and cyclists know the feeling of hitting the wall, a sudden onset of fatigue. With athletes, hitting the wall in the culmination of their physical exertions and the impact of the substances produced and used during extreme exertion. Hitting the wall can be severely debilitating, leaving them without the strength to stand, limbs trembling and dizzy. Many feel they can't go on, and many want to go on but are unable to continue.
Athletes train to cope with the wall's existence. When I hit the wall, I felt a drop in my emotional and intellectual energy and imagination.
I'm sure there are walls in other activities in life, the moment when energy deserts people and they feel they can't go on. Fortunately, my wall was just about writing a novel, but with everything we do, there are investments of time, energy and emotion. It's troubling to compare hitting the wall, whether it's a sporting event or creative endeavor, with the greater dangers of walls out there that end with people's death. As the late and eternally wonderful Jonathan Winters said of his depression and issues with substance abuse, he felt like an asshole, making hundreds of thousands of dollars doing the thing that he enjoyed while others suffered and coped with horrible jobs, lives and pay.
My wall turned out to be rubber. I bounced off it and staggered around a bit, taken unaware that a wall was there. Once I realized I'd hit the wall, I slowed down and took a long look up the next stage. Man, did it look steep. I'd gone so far but there was more to go. I could stop or go on.
So I breathed deep. Putting one foot in front of the other, I've started up the next stage.
Time to attack the mountain and write like crazy.
"I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it." ~ Jonathan Winters
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com