I'm working on a new novel these days. I wrote and wrote and wrote for about four months and I ended up with eight pages.
But one of those pages is a prose poem I wrote four years ago. So actually I ended up with seven pages culled from, I guess, 60--maybe more, if you count all the outlines I made on paper towels. Those seven pages, though, delight my soul. They're the first two chapters of my new novel, and they feel just right.
I took up yoga recently--some might say obsessively. One day I was sitting cross-legged arranging myself on my sitting bones when I realized that if I shift ever so slightly, left or right or front or back, everything about my spine's position changes. And if everything in my spine changes then so do the positions of my head and shoulders. And when those shift into a sweet spot my eyes rest back in their sockets for once and my fingers loosen and the world looks lighter.
Today I'm looking at my four months of pre-writing as the alignment of the creative vertabrae. I shifted and shifted, looking for that exact place to begin--where the story feels vital and even I want to keep reading, even though the next chapter isn't written yet--and here we are. Seven pages in. Maybe eight.