I haven't been writing here because I'm trying to find the right words for the proposal I'm trying to complete. I have a 5K word sample chapter in the can, and have forced myself to stop fiddling with it and move on to the overview. I have begun it, but the way forward isn't yet clear. The lack of clarity is painful, a crushing anxiety, because what if I don't find the story this time, what if I fail to create a narrative arc that is coherent, emotionally resonant, and well paced. I have been fighting a panicked impulse to run away, wondering if in fact I am the right person for this book. In bed one night, I asked my husband, "The fact that I am assigned to this project means I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, right?" I know that's how our friend Scott, a Buddhist, would interpret things. I don't understand why my fear in this moment is so alive, even as the deadline looms. I think part of it has to do with having had success before with the agent representing this project, and wondering if I can deliver at the same level again. Maybe I also feel hamstrung by not being able to meet with my subject in person for the first few interviews, because covid. I don't think we've managed to go deep enough yet. It hard to achieve complete vulnerability and trust over a telephone line. Or maybe I just need a change of scenery, such as my usual bookstore cafe, to inspire and energize me, but that's not an option either, again because covid.
Speaking of covid, my husband and I managed to score appointments for the Moderna vaccine, first dose, this Saturday. Despite the fact that both the man and I became eligible for the shot as of this week, actually finding a slot to receive it was a feat of persistence that required every bit of my training as a journalist.
It's been snowing all day today, with still more inches forecast for tomorrow, but our power lines are buried deep enough to withstand the freezing cold, unlike in Texas, which seceded from federal regulations and farmed out the state's power grid to private contractors, who cut corners unforgivably, and now the people of Texas are in crisis, completely unprepared for snow. Meanwhile their elected officials go on vacation to Cancun, or tell constituents that the government owes them nothing and they're on their own, or they facetiously accuse AOC and the Green New Deal, which hasn't yet been implemented, anything but placing blame where it truly belongs, with their own lack of conscience, capability, and foresight. I hope when it's time to vote again, the people of Texas will remember how they were abandoned when the winter snows came, and they lost power, and their water pipes froze, and they had to burn fence wood and trees in their yards to keep their families alive.
Something just occurred to me. The habit of writing here, letting the words flow out of me almost like a stream of consciousness, not worrying too much about anyone's judgment, might in itself helps to unblock the right words in that other endeavor, where there will surely be judgment down the line. Thanks for letting me share.