Got back on track yesterday. Went walking in the rain on my old route, which was refreshing. The ideas just started flowing. I not only wrote a couple of chapters, but I came up with some bigger ideas for the rest of the book. I think I know where it is going now.
I felt very good about it, and I realized that I've gotten to the point, after four years, that I'm only comfortable when I'm writing. Otherwise I feel somewhat at loose ends, as if my day is partly empty.
In other words, it's gotten to the point where I not only want to write, but need to write.
Opening that creative part of the brain is a healthy thing, I think. And managing to actually make use of the ideas I come up with is very satisfying.
Whether I do so in a readable way is something I'll probably always struggle with. I worry that it comes too easy for me. I do try to put my feet to the fire to give it more effort when I'm finished with the first draft. I acknowledge that rewriting is necessary and almost always results in a better book.
On the other hand, the pure creativity of the first draft -- indulging in that -- is making me a better storyteller, I think. I'm letting my imagination loose, without restrictions, and it feels good.
I'm addicted to the first draft, and I can't go too long without it. Fortunately for me, there is nothing to keep me from doing it. I don't need any outside thing to make it possible -- no permission, no tools, no help.
I can just indulge my passion at my own whim.
It's a great thing to look forward to over the coming years. I wonder how I managed to live my life without it for so many years. I had the store, and that was a creative effort in many ways, but this is more pure. As much as I want people to read me, it isn't even dependent on that.
I can just write and have fun and it is enough.
2 days ago