The past several weeks I've been working on my thesis planning course (hence the abysmal silence here). In this course, I'm planning my creative thesis project (a collection of creative nonfiction essays), but that means reading extensively in the genre and analyzing it. Comparing it to my project. Planning what I will do and how I will do it.
The first week, I was gung ho, got the first assignment off, feeling good, and then I hit...
The avoidance zone.
Avoidance and I are old friends. We know each other in the biblical sense. Nothing will screw with your mind like avoidance. Hell, if I listen to the same depressing playlist one more time, my kids might host an intervention.
I read extensively in the avoidance zone.
Don't think just read, don't think just read, don't think just read.
And in the background, my subconscious is plotting like a supercomputer running the calculations in the background. I'm pretty sure I gained fifteen pounds in the avoidance zone, trying hard not to think too hard.
When the time is right (or when I'm running really close to deadline), I open a blank document and start to write. Once I get started, it's easier than I thought it would be, because avoidance is a b*tch and she lies.
I wrote eleven of twenty pages in little more than an hour, because it had been brewing like coffee in my soul. And then I had to take a breath. Take a break. Recuperate. (And read, because, really, that's the best form of rehabilitation).
But now that it's begun, that supercomputer running in the background isn't satisfied to remain in the background. Odd words and phrases hit me at ridiculously inappropriate times. Usually when I'm drifting off to sleep at three a.m., and boy does that tick me off.
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
― Mark Twain, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain
So I dutifully get up, open the computer, squint against the harsh light, open the right file and type out that perfect line. ONE LINE, but it's the difference between lightning and lightning bug.