Well, okay, only metaphorically. Apparently, much like Amelia Earhart, my metaphorical writing plane has crashed in the inhospitable vastness of the Horrific Ocean, and I am surrounded by sharks. There’s the dreaded Mak-upyourmindandwritethedamnedscene-o shark, the Great White Hope, the Hammer(another nail in your career coffin)Head, and the dreaded Bull (sh*t, that’s what this scene is) shark. All of whom now surround me. Fear is a great thing, when you’re actually swimming in the non-metaphorical ocean, with real sharks. It keeps you alive. But here in the wine dark sea of my inner landscape, these fears keep me from moving forward. I am frozen at the keyboard. And the damned sharks are going to eat me alive.
I’ve been stuck on the same scene for weeks. I even know how it’s supposed to end. And it does what I want it to, moves the story forward to where I want it to go. Where, dare I say it, IT even wants it to go. And yet, I can only squeeze out a handful of words every four or five days. I’m bleeding my story out slowly, drop by drop. And the sharks are circling, drawn by the smell of story blood and the thrashing of my inner self as I inch closer to The End.
Is that what this fear is? A fear of finishing? A fear of what comes after finishing? A fear that it’s been six months of torture for a mess of monumental proportions? Or am I heading in the wrong direction with the story entirely, and this is the Muse’s way of telling me I’ve lost my way? Refusing to work until I suss out the correct heading? I feel like I think Amelia must have felt, trying desperately to contact Howland Island on her radio, getting nothing but static, looking below where she thought her destination ought to be, yet seeing nothing out the window but blue-green waters iced with whitecaps horizon to horizon, with no land in sight. Which way, O Muse? Left? Right? Up, down? Kittywumpuss? Through some dimensional portal I can’t quite make out?
I only know that if I let the sharks eat me this time, there won’t be a sequel. No soap opera death here, where unbeknownst to the viewing audience, I magically reappear after a several month hiatus (in which I was appearing in a show off-off-broadway), having, MacGyver-like, carved my way out of the shark from the inside with a knife fashioned from something I found in its stomach, just in time for a dark-haired, blue-eyed, muscular Irish hunk to come along in his Uncle’s fishing boat, haul me aboard and row me to safety. This is one of those make or break moments.
And the only weapons I have at my disposal are this pretty green and white flash drive, and a pumkin spice latte. Wonder what MacGyver would have done with those?