The Uncarved Block

I’m paraphrasing, but Michelangelo described the process of sculpting in marble as seeing an already existing work of art within an uncarved block and subsequently freeing it. I’m not comparing myself to Michelangelo (calm yourself, I’m not that deluded), but I occasionally grant myself a pompous moment to apply his description to the process of writing a novel. Of course I tend to get wrapped up in the metaphorical marble removal part of things – when the words are pouring forth easily, it’s like “holy crap, I possess the DIAMOND-EDGED CHAINSAW OF THE GODS” with marble chips fountaining in all directions to the sound of cherubic harmonizing, and when the words come more reluctantly it’s like morosely clawing at the stone with a bent spork. Today I managed to drag myself out of the procedural weeds and assess my progress, however, and you know what, I can see the book in there. It looks like a good book, worthy of all the chipping away and lungfuls of dust and metaphorical sporks. I think I’ll be proud to have my name on it.


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