The strange alchemy of writing

I’m working on some short articles, and experiencing again that strange alchemy by which the rough words that I force down onto the page any which way I can transform, through a series of drafts, to something readable and worth reading. I look at the jumbled mess on the page, and somehow I can begin to cohere it into something less jumbled–something I couldn’t do if the mess wasn’t there in the first place.

How does it happen? You’d think by now I would understand, but really, I don’t. I only know that for me, it works, and that I have to trust the process by which it works.

And to remind myself that my jumbled drafts of novels–which spend way, way longer in the jumbled stage than articles–will, more likely than not, one day cohere into real stories, just as the novels before them have.

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