The good thing is that the structure of the manuscript somehow solidified, at least for the next handful of chapters. I'm not worried about things suddenly changing. I have control, in the short-term, and leaving the later chapters to remain fluid. This is way less stressful than jumping into the beginning of the manuscript with absolutely no control and hoping for the best. I did get the best, but that process is still terrifying.
I'm only on chapter six. It feels like I'm on chapter sixteen from how much I've written so far. Still stacking foundatios bricks on top of each other, neatly, with strength, only to tear everything down later on in the story. I'm definitely not lacking in ideas, vision, or inspiration -- I obsess over every story detail as usual, so nothing wrong there. This is yet another case of me being too hard on myself and delaying things out of fear/frustration.
Obsessing: I picture every single scene down to the figurative letter, mapping an emotional path that must make sense. It must make sense. It must make sense. I can't sleep because this process won't shut off, it won't shut up, it won't leave me alone. Restlessness, insomnia, decreased appetite, constant headaches when I do manage to wake up after sleeping. I haven't allowed it to be this bad since the days before my published books. I'm not even allowing it; it's spilling over on its own because the plot to Anathema II later on in the book is fucking me up that much.
But I'm persevering. On the outside, I seem fine.
Agonizing: this won't come out in the manuscript in the exact way I envision it because of -- disconnect between my thoughts and the simple act of writing, using words to describe what I see. This is critically important because my one purpose, my true drive is to write these books, to have them in my hands and feel relieved that these will remain of me after whatever amount of time that may pass.
Procrastinating: I'll go do something else while I think about this some more and (not really) ignore this weight of my world bearing down on me.
Frustrating: a few days pass with no progress -- I have no patience and my temper rises to dangerous levels because "I can't write" anymore.
Depressing: I can't write anymore.
Comforting: I get over it and write things out, and it's actually pretty good. Exactly how I get over it is my secret, but it works every time.
This is my life.
I'm turning twenty-nine in one week.
I still have the same sense of impermanent permanence with myself, the same one I've had for quite a while now.
It's a little different these days because of the acceptance I've found with the way I am and how I work. I'm okay, but I don't go around advertising how and why I found this peace with myself and my process. The funny thing is, I wouldn't have reached this point if not for all of the pain and ambivalence I seemed to put myself through in my denials for so many years. I could have walked away or ignored it, but there was always an instinct I had to see those things through, knowing that I had something to learn from the situations.
I sometimes did things that felt out-of-character for me just for this conquest of knowledge. And yet I feel that I would be worse off today even if I had avoided all of that.
Everything's bolstered, reinforced.
My current distraction is almost over, though. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I've beaten all forty or so of the mini-bosses and I have most of my crafting upgrades. Now that I'm at the final boss before the multiple endings, I feel relatively accomplished. I had planned on beating the boss tonight after normal-work, but I should start on this next chapter instead. If I don't, that dangerous cycle will start up again.
The problem is that the next two chapters, six and seven, are going to be among the most difficult ones I will ever write. Six is for a type of event that I haven't written properly in years, and seven is the follow-up that I already know is going to give me a hard time. I'm again putting so much pressure on myself to write these two chapters correctly because of how much they mean to me. I won't get the chance to do this again.
It's all that I have -- this one shot.
So please, leave me to my solitary process. I say this because my intuition keeps buzzing about something that I definitely don't want, and that I know someone is thinking/considering.
Don't do it.
No surprises this year. Not next year, or the year after that, either. Never again.