making clay

Surrounded, Tim Burton

August already! Summer wings by at a swoop–shortest season of the year! I’m enjoying The Letters of John Cheever. He struggled for years to become a novelist. It’s interesting to read both Cheever’s letters and John Fowles’ journals at the same time. Seeing how both writers wrestled with their calling is illuminating and revelatory to me. It’s enlightening to peek inside the head of other artists.

Cheever was dismissed by critics as a short story writer who was no master of the novel form. He eventually proved them wrong. Fowles’ tusseled with Demonic Doubt and a deep sense of alienation. Both writers overcame their artistic weaknesses to gain success. The most important thing is to finish.

I’m not sure how Shadow Walk will turn out but I have to finish this new first draft, and I should stop thinking of it in connection with the old manuscript. Already, even as I write it, Shadow Walk is reshaping itself, veering from my outline to find its own path. I’m following along, from scene to scene, and at the end, I’ll look back and see what I’ve got. All I’m doing right now is making clay.


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