Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saved at Birth

It always begins this way.

An idea intrudes, insists that I give it attention, finally settles upon me.  It’s exciting — a promise to oneself that makes the hair stand on end.  And, of course, because it resides in the mind, not on the page, there’s a certain perfection to it.

Oh, I know it’s not really perfect.  It’s incomplete, in fact, not fully formed.  But there’s thrust behind the thing.  So even if the blade isn’t sharp, the subject has been engaged.

Then comes a moment when the only way to move the idea forward is to think more deeply, to hone the details.  This represents a profound psychological shift.  It’s the difference between a pitcher knowing he has a start scheduled for next Saturday and undertaking the stretches for that start in an hour hence.  With preparation comes trepidation.