Ensconced in my front room, trying to meet a 1 December deadline for a paper I am unusually excited about writing -- which, considering the facts of a whirlwind trip to Chicago this weekend and then an Appalachian Thanksgiving, means there are only four and a half days left, rather than the eleven more prosaically minded counters might imagine -- I had one of those revelations which in retrospect will feel all sorts of silly, but that I thought I'd share.
I think writing is like surfing. The process, that is. You have an idea, you -- and bear with me during the overwrought and overmixed metaphor here -- tread into the waters carrying it firmly under your arm; you hazard the waves and impact zone of your thesis and bibliography; then you start paddling the waters of writing. Finally, you look over your right shoulder and see the wave: you know you're on to something. You're writing really fast, but with sure, long strokes, then you feel the wave start to push you and you know it's messy and you know for that split second your idea is a little out of control but if you don't trust it you're going to bail. So you paddle through it, sure that if you just hang on and keep up the momentum, you'll be standing in no time and will make it to the shore upright.
Okay, so the moral of this story is less 'the writing is going well' than sharkskin really, really misses surfing.