Perseverance. It sounds like slogging through mud. On an empty stomach. But perseverance also provides purpose and the satisfaction of returning to the same difficult project that gradually yields to the effort. When you build a life around perseverance, if you dare to risk admitting to something so old-fashioned, your truth is so small, day to day. It’s so inconspicuous and personal. It’s a novel coming alive word by word, and then taken apart scene by scene and rebuilt and transformed. It’s finishing that novel and starting, good Lord, another one. Who would do this? Why would anyone?
I really love writing these days. That’s for sure. My latest project is so engrossing that it makes everything else vanish: the early darkness of the afternoons, the pandemic, the delayed hope for the vaccine, the scrambling noise of politics, the sorrow and need, the latest family to donate to, the church I don’t attend, the chorus that sings apart. In my head space, for the hours I go there, my world is intricate, fascinating, and under my control to the very last word.