And suddenly the logjam of doubt over how to write the story gives way.
Don’t really know what changed – there was no Eureka I gottit! moment – just, I feel that my mind once again is open … The hypnosis is over and no-one / Calls encore to the song … (a stretch to quote these lines from Louis MacNeice’s Autumn Journal, because the poet was writing about lost love, and I’m not equating being stuck in writing a story with the tragedy of lost love, but the feeling seems apposite.
(Incidentally, MacNeice follows this passage with one of my all time favourite lines of poetry: When we are out of love, how were we ever in it?)
The key to getting the draft moving seems to have been the emergence of the voice of the narrative, or, rather, the voices, two of them, one sardonic, bitter, and morose, the other tired and cynical but at the same time measured and elegiac.
So, despite the ever present doubts, and the conviction that everything I write deserves the old, derisive soccer chant, shouted in sing-song unison from the terraces – What a load of rubbish! – despite all that, the draft – messy, unpredictable, saltatory, tangential, frustrating, as always – stumbles forwards.
Until the next logjam.