Getting myself out to the cottage every day is not a problem. In fact, that's the easy part. I set up a plan, reread the previous day's work and fire up a new chapter to get started for the day. But it's the unevenness of new ground...ideas that pop into my story that really starts to make me itch.
The other day, I wandered into the house for a cup of tea, a seltzer, a sweater...to switch the laundry, etc., etc., etc. I've come to the conclusion, that I don't mind word-smithing, layering more detail or adding to a conversation. But when ideas come out of left field...well, I just fight it. I don't know what it is. Honestly. Am I afraid I'll have to write a different novel? Am I afraid the new ideas will ruin my chances for publication? I have to say...in my heart, I'm a storyteller, so that can't be the reason for my angst.
Fortunately, the answer to all of this lies in my writing group, and my wonderful mentor, Patricia Reilly Giff. Many friends and family members have offered to read my work. They know books, they're readers of course...and I completely respect them for the types of books they enjoy. But...a seasoned writer can call me on it when I'm dodging the fire in my story. My partners in crime know my pitfalls, and they always get me back on track. They keep me focused, so my eyes don't wander too far, and they force me to make my work pay-off for the reader.
Right now, I'm marinating and simmering...sometimes coaxing the flame in order to keep that one idea lit. But that is the process. And for now, I just have to trust the tender nature of the process, my writing partners, and that elusive Muse...because she eventually shows up each day. Most of all, I have to trust myself and simply write the best book I'm capable of...a word, a paragraph and a single page at a time.