I Have to Think

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There is a lull in the rain. I haven’t been able to walk on my new book, The Witch Box, for several days; but I dassn’t take the manuscript outside until the sky is clear.

What I mean to do is to go outside, set up the folding chair, open the umbrella, light up a cigar…. and think. By which I mean, wait for the Lord to show me where He wants the story to go. I don’t just dope it out myself.

Now people who see me doing this will conclude I’m doing nothing. A lot of writing consists of doing nothing. We don’t consider hard thinking a lazy sort of enterprise, but those who don’t know any better, do. I am at a critical juncture in my plot and I don’t want to make a hash of it.

Well, I’d better get set up before it starts raining again.

An hour later: Ah! That was a productive session. I’ll be ready to write again tomorrow, weather permitting. Thank you, Lord.

4 comments on “I Have to Think

  1. I used to have the same problem when I was doing research and writing professionally. Unless I was physically scribbling with a pen or pounding a keyboard, people assumed I wasn’t working and therefore was available for errands or conversation. What I was usually doing was juggling ideas, seeing how they fit together, thinking through where I needed to look next, or, most often, trying to write that fiendishly difficult first page of an article or a chapter — which I couldn’t do until I’d mentally put together the whole article or chapter in my head. In other words, I couldn’t start writing physically until I’d finished constructing the whole article mentally. After the first page, I could usually churn out five or more pages a day, but it sometimes took me a week to do that first page. I could never get anyone to understand that, except another professional scholar.

    1. In the Air Force we used to say “Thinking is not authorized.” We were joking, of course, but…. 😊

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