Last week, in the process of looking for something else, I stumbled upon a documentI created in 2007 called “The Muddled Phase, which is a collection of quotes from various nonstops I had made when I was beginning The Enclave.
Once again, they track dead on with what I’m experiencing now with Sky, and it was such a help for me to read them, again, I thought I’d share.
“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.”
–Snip questions, possibilities, ideas —
“Hmmm. That could be interesting. Urk and urk. Swirling again. Maybe I should just try and write it. I don’t know. Maybe 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.
“Interesting about …” [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 try to make something emerge? Reread the material or . . . sit and wait. Lie on the couch. Stare at the penguin mobile.
“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 I guess and ask for guidance because there doesn’t seem to be any.
Oh. That’s right. My emotions have been turned off, so I can’t look for much help from them. I listened to two songs today that usually get me going, and they did hardly anything emotionally. 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,”
From another Nonstop, later
“Okay, I was being 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 is in not finding the lost object — AGAIN — then that is what I will be content with. Looking for the object in my mind. 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. I am impatient. 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.”
And then having read all the above, I opened another file, this one titled “Incubation” which justified everything I described above as being a legitimate part of the creative process. But I’ll save that for tomorrow.