This was just one of many questions hurled at me like meteors during the recent break from school. With temps in the 20s and a snow/sleet/ice/hail/rain storm only to be found in a Midwestern March, my son and I spent many hours together inside. And as a young child is wont to do, he asked question upon question about a variety of topics ranging from politics to weather to, you guessed it, fertility.
Dodging my ever-inquiring boy is nothing new; he’s always been one to wonder. Come to think of it, so have I. Of course there are a bazillion things to confound, bewilder, and stump us, and we each search for answers in different ways. Yet for me, it’s more than why the sky is blue or how does gravity work (truth be told, I have little interest in basic phenomena); I want to know about people. We’re fascinating creatures, and I enjoy decoding the puzzle. And though I don’t ever really find answers to what makes the human race tick, I uncover an inspiring treasure trove of emotions, motives, and behaviors.
Perhaps this is the reason I write. I admit I’m a seeker who enjoys digging around and within. One reviewer even labelled me a “deep diver”. I am one and proud of it. For what fun would it be to know every answer before I begin a story? It’s the challenge, the struggle, the possibility of solving a protagonist’s problem that drives me. And even if I don’t provide a “happily ever after”, I’ve (hopefully) come one step closer to unlocking the mystery of my world and the people who inhabit it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my Work in Progess because it’s been my slowest-going one to date. Sadly, I’ve procrastinated more than ever before. As one who rarely puts off projects, I (of course) sought a reason for my actions. My deduction: I’m not as “into” this book for two reasons. First, I’ve already written these characters so they aren’t shiny and new and second, I essentially know the plot. I truly want to finish their story so how can I get my rear in gear? Well for starters I realized I’d been worrying about the wrong thing! Instead of fretting over what I know, I need to focus on what I don’t know. Technically, I know the end of the story, but I have yet to learn how it gets to that point. I have loads of things to delve into so I’m goin’ back in…this time with a blissful ignorance in the hope every subsequent chapter will become a gift to be unwrapped, held up to the light, and oohed and aahed over.
In his happy youth, my son doesn’t understand any of this yet; his wonderment is largely based on instinct rather than need and his frustrations are due to an impatient desire to know it all at once. But maybe, someday, he’ll also have an overwhelming urge-one he cannot resist-to dive deep into the pool of the unknown. And if he does, I pray he’ll experience the same thrill of a hunt and joy of discovery I find when writing.