I am taking a break from fretting about finished work and, instead, I am diving back into the sequel to Raven’s Path, tentatively titled Crossroads. I started it back in October, doing extensive research before putting word to paper. I also had a general sense of where I wanted the first segment to go. It was fairly easy to pick up where I left off and follow that path. But then, coincidentally, I hit a crossroad.
Panic struck. There are multiple directions and I was overwhelmed by choice. I dipped back into the research, hoping it would provide clues. But, while research is foundational to the series, it is the characters who are directing this drama, not historical events. Still, I felt pressured by the need to know exactly where it was heading before I could continue. Frustrated, I took a break and began Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, where I found the quote for this week’s post.
I am not really a panster but neither am I a pedigree plotter. I do need to see my final destination, to have a general sense of the overall arc of the novel. Yet, I long ago recognized that I enjoy not knowing all of it. It is fun to deviate from the prospective path and travel to unexpected places. So, despite the overwhelming fear of selecting the wrong route, I sat at the computer and listened carefully. Ana and Brandan began to speak. And, they chose a direction. I don't know where it will lead, but I’m breathing easier. I am driving slowly in the fog—that’s okay because I know I am once again heading somewhere and, eventually, I will get there.