Oof, Chapter Six is riddled with problems–not the least of which is that it’s wayy too long. But I can’t stand to look at it anymore and don’t know what I should be fixing, which means that it’s time to put it aside and work on something else for a while.
Here’s the current rough draft word tally:
45,429 / 80,000
I have no idea if any of what I’m doing with this book is any good. Then again, there’s a mathematician at Hebrew U who wrote a little paper in his 20’s–at the time, he thought it was OK, nothing special, not nearly as deep enough a treatment of the issue as it could have been. Years later, he was pretty much of the same opinion. And it wound up being the work that won him a Nobel Prize (I think in economics). Even though my perspective on just-written work is the least trustworthy of all, my perspective generally is never going to be so hot.
Writers? This is why you need an editor. An honest, brutally honest one. That, and lots and lots of time–though I’ll never be fully objective, there are things that I thought were pure genius when I wrote them that make me cringe today, and things I wasn’t so impressed with at the time that today I think aren’t half bad. Also, Michael Cunningham is dead on when he says that six months after the fact, you can’t tell the difference between the days you felt you were channeling some great inspirational force and the days you just sat at the computer (canvas, piano, whatever) and managed to work only by sheer force of will, against all your better attempts at procrastonation. How it feels to do the work and how the work comes out don’t necessarily correlate.
Or, as Stephen King says, writing = butt + chair. So for me? Back to it.
(For those of you missing the title reference, it’s here.)