I still haven't finished the most recent issue of The Horn Book. But instead of working on it last night while I was on the exercise bicyle, I picked my way through a series of articles related to the mind in the September 22nd issue of Newsweek. One of them made me worry that some readers might perceive the main character in the book I'm devoting my life to writing as very, very ill. In fact, the article supported the statement from the one professional who has read the manuscript that went something to the effect, "Why aren't her parents seeking help for her?"
So today, I went back to work on Chapter 1 (which was already in its eighth draft) to try to deal with that little matter. I got Olivia a little help. Not that she needs it. Everyone around her just thinks she does.
If I'd read The Horn Book last night, maybe I would have finished chapter four today. Would that have been a good thing?
Anything that floats through my mind while I'm working on a project could end up in it.
Another Newsweek article mentioned flow, which I've talked about here in the past. The article described flow as "concentrated attention and the absence of self-consciousness."
What is "self-consciousness?" All the games loaded on your computer? The CNN website? On-line articles about Todd Palin and the clothes worn at the Emmy Awards ceremony?
I believe I was in a flow state for about forty-five seconds this afternoon. Maybe a minute and a half. Hooray!