One of the reasons I burnt up my book was that it was taking me away from my chickens.
It takes incredible focus to keep 225 pages in my head. One side effect is that everything else starts to feel like a frustrating distraction: Captain Daddy, my paid writing assignments, the laundry, my taxes and yes, even my own kids.
Every time I am pulled away from the manuscript (often) I am subject to creeping anxiety—fear that the whole thing will crumble into a million little pieces without constant vigil.
It’s a great Zen exercise, actually—working on staying present with the book and staying present with that which interrupts it: and, as always, not giving in to fear.
This edit is different than previous ones in a few ways, though, thankfully. I have a much clearer sense of the story—where I am going and what the end looks like. This makes single-mindedness more productive and less soul-battering.
I am also forgiving myself for being lost in my own head. If my undivided attention is diverted away from the chickens and Captain Daddy for a few weeks, so what? I suspect they will survive.