Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ah, Hell: An Update

2:29 a.m., and I have 1,004 decent words, which I managed by opening up a message in Outlook and pretending I was writing to my friend Katy about what makes a good translation . . . that little Outlook e-mail box so much smaller and less frightening than the vastness of the white Word page, and Katy so much more known (and so much less likely to be judgmental) than the countless astute readers of the Horn Book. I don't have a conclusion, and I have the niggling sense there's something I need to be investigating more deeply -- some Big Idea emerging through what I've written that will need to be fully articulated and then will change the entire direction of the article. When I'm not under pressure, this is the part of writing I love most, seeing those Big Ideas come out and saying "Oh wow!" and chasing them down to make them mine. But right now I am writing run-on sentences without end and conjunctions without number, and the idea of a Big Idea merely tires me (never mind actually chasing it); and thus I will go to bed. Thanks to all of you for listening to my sleep-deprived perfectionist-panicked ramblings.

The End.


  1. Yay!! Sleep well...

    If there is a Big Idea there lurking, you will see it more clearly with all its stripes in the morning. "Decent" and on the page is worth far more than "perfect" and only existing in your fevered imgination. (And you have to push on with the Bad Novel, because one day I want to read it!)

    Good hunting (surely no one else is up on your side of the world??)

    -- Kate

  2. Poor Cheryl! Get a big-ass cup of coffee and send me the bill.

  3. So, did A.A.L. like what you composed? I bet he did.