Saturday morning I sit at the local café reading the newest edition of the Writer. This act is a precursor to beginning work on the story at hand just as this post is a warm up for my other writing. In both cases the story is Changing Tides. I know I have mentioned this story in older posts and it's one which I've been easing myself back into. However, I'm now up against the do or die deadline. This is the story I'm going to work on in Newfoundland when I attend Piper's Frith and I have to put it back together before I go because in it's current million and one, okay I exaggerate, pieces it would never survive the trip in any recognizable state.
As I read through the 5 new beginnings I've made since then, I make notes and questions to help me bare the meat, to locate the life line - the missing connections to something. To what? As the flesh begins to emerge I'm startled when the missing "details" suddenly show themselves unexpectedly and I begin to see how it fits and why it was so hard to include; how emotionally charged it makes me feel - how deep the connection is - it scares me and excites me at the same time. It's not that I haven't discovered the emotional connection to a story before, but it's never been this strong or quite like this. And I realize this is what Jenny Rough was talking about in her article, "The Essayist finds her stride," in Septembers issues of the Writer, when she describes sculling. She uses her her experience in learning to scull to explain how she uncovers the missing pieces in her writing - the emotional connection, that something that makes the writing work and brings it alive.
This revision will still be difficult, but I know from experience it's often the most difficult things which are the most rewarding and I am eager to begin work on it. However, in retrospect I wonder if, just as this unwillingness or inability to reveal certain aspects of myself stopped me from being able to write the crux of this story 2 years ago, perhaps it's the same thing that's also at the root of the writer's block some people experience.