Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Resisting the “I’m the Juggernaut, Bitch” Joke

So this is how it happens. This is how we come to this:

I polish off a commission for The Magazine on a Thursday, the 5th, in fact—a week ahead of deadline. And everybody is happy: I’m the giant-killer (again), having delivered another solid-if-unspectacular piece on shortish notice; my Editor is Johnny on the Spot, getting the content lined up with plenty of time for revisions; the paycheck means the kids are getting more than socks for Christmas.

So I figure I owe myself some time with The Book before I get to hustling for work. Not a lot of time— I mean, I really need to get hustling for work, because things are getting fucking ridiculous—but a couple of days, maybe. I’d like to just get through this particularly ugly patch before I put The Book aside. Leave it in a good place.

But first, revisions are requested to The Magazine Piece. This is okay; it’s a holiday weekend, and with the kids around I’m not counting on the kind of uninterrupted concentration-time I need for fictionmaking anyway. So I do the revisions and get ‘em in by Tuesday. That’s the 10th—ten-ten. So I figure I’ll bash things through Wednesday-Thursday and get some pitches out on Lucky Friday, or Monday at the latest.

Wednesday comes and Wednesday goes, all around the circle, and it’s Wednesday again and I’ve neither been pitching nor working in any serious way on The Book. I have, in fact, done fuck-all for seven days but browse the Web and play Star Defender 2 and lie awake contemplating my constant grinding headache and the ultimate futility of all human endeavour.

What’s happened is that I’ve run smack up against a horse-choking slab of exposition which absolutely must be dealt with before I put The Book aside. And I must put The Book aside before I get to my pitches. And if I put The Book aside without properly resolving this narrative issue, then I know in my heart I will never take it up again.

I’ve got to do it all and I’ve got to do it fast. I’m in a tight spot, taking fire from all directions, and I can’t fight my way out because I have lost (at least temporarily) my ability to shoot around corners.

But, you know, it’s only a corner until someone smashes down a couple of walls.

And that’s what it’s come to.
Time to put my head down and put this thick skull to some use.

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