I’ve been struggling with a piece I’ve been writing for months — months!! I had all the basic facts and information down, but was missing the thread to pull it all together. This piece is supposed to soon be appearing as a journal article and I promised the editor I’d send him my revised manuscript this week (not my first extension on this piece, I’m ashamed to admit), but I’ve been sitting here at my desk all week trying to bring this thing together and have just been struggling. I’ve added, deleted, reorganized, rewritten and nothing seemed to work.
At 4pm today, while chatting with a friend on Google Talk, I hit on an idea. We talked it through on IM and, low and behold, it is the elusive thread I’ve been looking for all these months. I’ve spent the past couple of hours reworking the piece so this thread is now woven through the piece and it seems to be working. I should be able to package it out and send it off by tomorrow at the latest. Thank freaking goodness for that! I think if I was another day late with this piece the journal editor would drive to my house and bop me on the head with a nerf bat.
I have written enough to know that this seems to be part of the process, so now when I feel like my head will explode from frustration I know the solution is nearby. However, this knowledge does not minimize the sheer aggravation that necessarily accompanies the “just before breakthrough” period. It is absolute hell. If anyone knows how to bypass this, please drop me a line.