Sometimes this book writing business is very hard work. Mostly it’s not. Barbara and I chatter, laugh and write fast. It’s perhaps because it’s generally good fun and productive that the reverse experience comes as a bit of a shock.
Today was grim. Even though at the end of the day we have some 3,500 words, a clear place to start tomorrow and a revised plan, it’s been pretty tough going.
Today has been wading through mud. Gloopy, sticky, thick, hard to get clear of mud.
We struggled to get going again after our break. We couldn’t find out how to start off the next, new chapter. We had several goes at ordering the contents. We made many false starts. There was a lot of cutting and pasting, moving about, rewriting and patching up as we went along.
It wasn’t until the very end of the day, in fact just before Barbara went off for Nana duties with the grandchildren, that we felt that we actually had something that was OK.
Part of today’s problem was getting stuff out of my head – this is a chapter which, in part, builds on some of the supervision pedagogies that I use. I took so much of it for granted that it was difficult for Barbara to see where I was going with it. But the wallowing in mud feeling was also because a substantial part of the chapter is what we’ve written before. We needed to say some things that we both know really well and believe in passionately – but say them in different ways. Usually that’s fairly easy. Today it wasn’t.
We were stuck in our usual rhetoric and our history of explanations. Even new examples didn’t get us unstuck.
We behaved pretty well considering the frustrating time we were having. Neither of us lost our temper. Neither of us walked out. Neither of us stopped trying. Even though there were several cups of tea along the way, we didn’t take an unusually long lunch, even though that was a pretty tempting proposition. We just kept going.
In the end we got up and out of the mud simply through a stubborn refusal to give up – or perhaps I should rephrase that positively and say we got through the difficult period because of our self-discipline. We are able to force ourselves to keep writing till we have done a reasonable amount, reasonably well. And just as well.
It was a relief to stop. And we are certainly hoping for clear ground tomorrow.