In the past, I’ve been very fond of the story I was writing. I’ve experienced deep feelings of belief in the story, a sense that it must be told and I was on a mission to do so. With my first novel, The Confessions of Adam, I had this sense from the beginning. The story felt fresh and my pursuit of it, my commitment to it, never waned. 

I assumed this would always be the case with every project and I was surprised, confused even, when it wasn’t.

With my current project, the love affair has been on again, off again––more like a negotiation than a relationship. For a long time I’ve sought but not had the same experience I did with Confessions. I’ve felt the project was a worthy one certainly, yet I couldn’t figure out what about it was particularly engaging. I’ve now completed ten drafts of the manuscript and I’m just starting to get a sense of what the project is seeking to become and how I might be invested in that effort.

I’ve come to see this as part of the creative process. Commitment must not be too tightly lashed to emotion. Commitment to a project may well need to be in place long before creative energy is found and emotional delight is realized.