By Tania Vessey
The jumble of words that I had written over the past few years had confused me enough to need a timeout. Time to reflect, time to reassess, time to understand what I was trying to achieve with the parts of chapter five that I had written with large gaps in between each writing session.
The gaps in time are very obvious with a different feel to each piece. How to best use what I had and decipher something coherent was very challenging and I didn’t know how to get started.
Then I had an epiphany. I went to one of my storytelling happy places, a place beyond words, beyond characters, beyond setting and out of structure. A place that I enthusiastically discuss with any who will geek out with me about a book read or film watched, or even a painting. Symbolism! Words are secondary to what we can convey without them. It took me a while to shake off the cycling over of ideas and words that I had written down to go beyond to what it’s all about.
I’ve embraced the polarities of light and dark to ease into chapter five and it has worked, I’ve managed to let go of my angst over details and settle into the bigger picture. The symbolism that I am exploring and including is more than just light and dark, but I need to keep it simple to work through the dizzying cloud of words that have clogged up my vision. The other symbolic elements that I want to work in will come as I write through the highlights and shadows.
I came to the realisation of what I needed to do when I couldn’t sleep, I have a habit of thinking through my story when I can’t sleep to stop the monkey mind from keeping me awake. Lately I’d avoided this practise because I felt defeated by all the words and neglected the fact that for me thinking about it as a sleepy preoccupation leaves no room for words. A bit of a downside though is that I can’t sleep when I get in the flow of the story and so sit up into the night tapping away at my computer feeling tired but also satisfied. At the same time because I am tired I can only work for so long before I have to stop which gives me time and space to reflect before I write again. At times when I write wide awake and clear-headed, I write for so long that I feel detached from the process and resentful of it, when I have shorter sessions I have better momentum.
I’ve made a dent in the first draft of chapter five and although I have only just begun to write it but I have covered a lot more ground with the 1000 or so words that I’ve kept than I have in the past couple of weeks.