So I turned in Chapter 5.
And then I crashed.
Not that I wasn't trying to get the next part of this thesis done -- I spent every day last week staring at a blinking cursor, typing sentences only to delete them or hit enter to move them down the page because they led nowhere. False starts. Words that felt labored and unclear because the direction of the work itself, at this juncture, is nebulous too.
I fear these moments most. Chapter 5 closed a major section of the project -- an accomplishment to be proud of. But with it, the momentum of the story shut down too. There's much more I need to say, and in turning this work into a book after I finish my MFA, I will. But for now, for the next two or three chapters that I must write to make my page count to graduate, I need to know what piece comes next in this puzzle. And because all the previous chapters have so cleanly packaged themselves together (not something I anticipated, but that's where the writing went), it's like I'm starting a new thesis, in a way.
I'm not good at beginnings. And last week, in the face of this unexpected return to one, I thrashed, going back again and again to the keyboard when I should have just given myself a break. You see, I wanted to speed up the process. These blocks don't crumble without a lot of trial and error, and I figured the more time I put in, the sooner I'd find a way through.
It hasn't happened. And after so many miserable days, I need a new approach. So I'm reading other writers' words, hoping for inspiration, and trying to ignore that feeling of powerlessness as the clock ticks on.
It's still staggering.
1 day ago