The hardest part of the manuscript right now are when my ideas of what I think I still have to write meet the reality of what needs to be written. Sometimes it feels like a slip of the mind: I’ve walked this path already, in my head, and simply forgot to record it. Other times it’s a more jarring amnesia, or external intervention: I follow my map, for days, to the edge of the river, and when I get there … no bridge.
Otherwise, the same things I said in past weeks are true this week. I’m still adapting to those new routines. I’ve always benefited from consistency, from doing the exact same thing every morning. It’s not just that the seasons have changed, as I wrote previously; I’m also traveling this fall – a few days this weekend for the Harbor Springs Festival of the Book, then a week in October the Heartland Fall Forum in Chicago and a friend’s wedding in Hawaii. I’m learning to start quicker, and find pockets of time throughout the day in which to do my writing. Still not great at it, but learning. Like I’m going from reffed games on hardwood courts to playing pickup matches of 3-on-3. There are adjustments to be made, sure, but at the end of the day: it’s still basketball.
This is good for me. This is a direction in which to grow. It’s like what they say about meditation: it’s easy to find peace when you’re off by yourself in a cave. Much harder to find it in the noisy, messy, relational world.
As I write this I’m sitting on the sofa in J’s apartment. She’s at the dining table, typing notes into her laptop as she studies for nursing school. There’s a dog asleep next to me and a mug of coffee in front of me. I never write from sofas, and yet, here I am.