It doesn’t happen all at once. It takes the course of a morning. It builds on ideas I’ve had for a long time. But it feels so sudden, a blinding flash, a novel forming, full-fledged, in my mind, just waiting to be set down.
It’s not full-fledged. It needs not only to be fleshed out, but to be plotted. I need all to know what all the elements are. I know where it begins, where it goes, but not yet how it ends.
Oh, it hurts. I want to keep at it. I want to work on this, to make it live and breathe and be beautiful and vibrant, so that I can share it with others. This sweet pain of creation, which I suppose I should cherish, but I only fear. A new idea, come to steal the place of the old. That old, tired idea, that surely will never go anywhere, that is so much harder to work on than this new beautiful one. I will be fun, the new one promises. I will never grow stale, never be dull, never let you down, never turn out badly. Just put that other one aside, take me up, you will never regret it.
Or, if I resist that, then: You can do both. You can write me for fun and that other boring one as work. You don’t need to finish me. You don’t need to make me any promises. Just spend a little more time. C’mon. It’ll be fun. You’ll like it. What’s wrong with that?
I can’t get it out of my head. I wanted to maybe jot down the big picture, make it outline so I would know where it all went. Instead, I keep getting all the little pieces that I have no time to write down.