It comes and goes, this writing habit. Sometimes weeks can pass without creating scenes or progressing my story in the slightest. In those times, I tell myself I’m still working, I’m creating world and backstory, characters that might turn up one day, if I’m feeling generous. Then something changes and suddenly all I want to do is write. Words tumble from my pen to the page, unjudged, perfect in their infancy and it doesn’t matter how long they’ll stay… it’s the feelings they inspire, the glimpse of a direction in this mad undertaking.
Last Friday I made a map. Rochelle helped. A whole sequence of little cards now sits proudly in almost-straight lines on my pinboard, telling me where this story is going and how it’s supposed to end.
Direction. That’s all I needed.
I’ve heard before that a goal is a bit like a night time road trip. You know where you’re supposed to end up and you know where you are, but when you look ahead, all you can see is the next corner. The rest of the route exists on a map, which can fail to point out unforeseen blocks you’ll have to detour around.
I’ve marked out my route, and now I feel completely at liberty to ignore the GPS and make my own way, secure in the knowledge I can always consult the map if I get lost.