I have been working on “the book” for the last few hours. Beyond the building blocks called sentences, I’ve spent the last few months deciding which point of view to tell the story from, and I’ve tried to identify a theme that could serve as a touchstone from which the book will resonate. Maybe “theme” is the wrong word, it’s more the feeling I want the reader to experience after reading the book.
Having unsuccessfully tried to nail down these higher-order writing decisions, I resolved to focus working on writing the stories and anecdotes I already knew I wanted to include and let the cosmos guide me to the answers for some of the more technical questions.
I needed a break from writing so I walked the six steps it takes me to get from my desk on one end of the apartment to the bathroom on the other. I turned on the shower and stood there, relieved not to be thinking about writing. And then the theme came. It was like the water hitting my head had in its molecular structure the answers to some of the past few months’ most gnawing questions.
I had already known that space is a good thing for me when it comes to writing but sometimes I forget, and sometimes I choke the process.
The lesson: if your conscious self is working overtime, share some of the load with your subconscious. Our conscious mind identifying the problem is often the only thing our subconscious needs to solve it.