page 81

…working on the two-pages-a-day, 5 a.m. wake up…stuck on page 81 for too long.

Some days ago I pulled out more pages than wrote, which is part of the process. The following day, I did research. (Fiction writers reading will chuckle: right, research.) The following day, I worked hard on the picturebook I was re-writing. And again, the next day. Novel momentum broken.

Yesterday, I sat and wrote, working on page 57, which is what’s happening with the first draft of this story–so much working with one character, moving to another, working on p. 36, then 62, back to 57. But at the bottom of the page, it continued to read “page 57 of 81.” I swear it went on to read “page 58 of 81.”

Then there it was: “page 59 of 82.” I finished the paragraph. Added a thought, and was done for the day, exhausted.

Today, what will happen? Perhaps I’ll find more to cut than to add. How attached am I to those little numbers? Too mechanical? Writing has its own set of self-deluding mind-games. But I’m no more attached to the numbers than Rita Mae Brown, setting her pages to the side of her typewriter, hoping for affirmation from her cat, hoping the feline will sit on the pages and thereby approve.

All right. Two pages, coming up.

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