One of the most interesting (and sometimes troublesome) aspects of being a writer is one’s exposure to Self. A ceaseless pursuit of internal understanding…the gift that keeps on giving—even when we’re disinclined to accept it.

One tries to understand where the roadblocks are, the pitfalls that trip up our progress. And the problem is, as some English writer-guy once wrote, not in our stars but in ourselves.

Take the current chapter, for example. I kept running into it. Finding myself stopped cold. Until I’d started to feel like a crash test dummy. I got all sweated up (in writer-world), untangling the plot issues that were holding me away from a happy answer.

Next hard-won realization: I was looking at pages of exposition—sand in the gears of an interesting read; I started solving for that.

And then, this morning….

Plot development, yes. Sand-in-gears reportorial prose, yes. But something more than that. It was excitement that was at fault. My own.

I’ve written in these e-pages the usefulness of finding a pivotal idea to drive the chapter; an emotion or action that compels the reader and the writer to move forward. I can tell by looking at my own completed work how engaged I was, how excited I was by it. The ideas, the pace, the use of language: no easy outs there when I’m fully on the page. The words dance for me. And if they dance for me, they’re sure not gonna trudge through the reader’s head.

This realization was the discovery of the morning. Yep, all those other elements remained important…but the thing that excited me most about this chapter—the thing still hidden in the unwritten section notes—was the thing I was missing. I was tripped up in my own ennui.

Suddenly, my own formulae and beliefs were inadequate to the task. The emotional richness ahead—the real excitement to come—was the thing I needed to be fixed on…the thing that propels the chapter. Everything beforehand had to be colored by it…that thing that makes me too excited to sleep; that makes me ready to charge into the day ahead, into the paragraph, the line, the word. The excitement I find in me. For you.