Back to writing. I've taken to starting each day with a Q & A about the project, a talk-out-loud (write out loud?) session in which I list all the things I'm thinking about in the project, what needs to go in there, what the objections might be, and so on. The entries go sort of like this:
- Q. If you talk about the Floradora Girls in this chapter, you can't talk about them again in chapter 5. It's too much.
- A. Rats. You're right. But if I shift the focus to Bert Williams, I can then make the connection to Marilyn Miller.
- Q: That's better!
The other day, I sat down to this little self-colloquy and realized that the project was out of balance. The focus was wrong in two chapters, and I didn't know how to fix it. After struggling with it for a few hours, I did what any sensible person would do: I turned off Leechblock and read reviews of Mad Men. I cleaned the kitchen. I read a book related to the project. I went for a walk.
After a few hours of wandering around, it hit me: these chapters aren't about X; they're about Y. That should be the focus, and talking about Y also allows me to talk about other important issues. Hooray! I sat back down at the desk and wrote down what I needed to do. I'm excited about the project again.
Now, if I had just listened to Our Muse Ginger, I would have known that already, wouldn't I?