My intent in reading On Writing was not to blog my way through it, yet again this morning I have hit upon a nugget that seems so important I can't not write. Lucky for me I know enough of the intricate details of the English language that while most believe that a double negative cancels itself out, it really is used to emphasize the importance of the point. I had believed that while in Maryland I would work on posts that cover a different subject, the non-fiction concept I'm working on and reading on--I imagined blogging through a different book. This morning's show stopper was not only my second nugget, but it was King's second point in the paragraph. He just informed us that the writer's initial perception of a character is as erroneous as the reader's, a matter I discovered about 55,000 words into my work in progress when I discovered my protagonist was someone other than I originally planned. Unfortunately I have the pain of a double protagonist as the first turns into the antagonist of the main protagonist. For those that have read If: An Allegory, it's a trope I've used before, though in If, the second protagonist is changed by both the first protagonist (who's change is early on) and the main antagonist (my Jonah). I used it at the risk of being similar because I simply love the name of my main antagonist, Scarlet Grace. How freaking awesome is that in a story about coming to salvation and God? And yes, I did try to name my 3rd child that but settled on a better name though Scarlet is her middle name.
Back on point is King's statement:
Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.
This is not the main point of the anecdote King is sharing in this chapter, but I couldn't go on for dwelling on the matter. I have found myself stopping because it's hard emotionally and imaginatively in my current work. It has been floundering for several months. Some of it has to do with my split-personality life, but most of it is that it has gotten to the point of climax.
Sometimes we get to the point where it's easy to check out. Stop doing what we're doing. Cease traveling down a path and sit in our complacency. When things get hard we can rest on our laurels. This opens the door to the problems that Ted Dekker speaks of in The Slumber of Christianity and taking our Ben Franklin attitude allows us to justify what we want to do in such a way that it can cause us to do exactly what we need to not do.
Perhaps my point is obscure today. Perhaps I'm rushing the writing. It's no less clear to me. Sometimes understanding comes easy. Sometimes we have to work at it. Epiphanies are rare because they're hard. They don't come when you check out emotionally or imaginatively.
P.S. Yesterday I blogged about writing with abandon. Then last night I re-read my post in my own RSS Reader and was shocked by both errata and two separate unclear antecedents. When I speak of not minding if readers get what I'm writing about I refer to the underlying bits, not the actual words. A close second to worrying if people "get" what I'm writing is wanting people to get what I'm writing. In other words, I rushed it and should have proofed it better before I posted. That again is an issue for today, so take this as an apology in advance.