Neil Gaiman on the usual

Neil Gaiman has been one of my favorite writers for over a decade.  Yesterday  in his blog post ‘Some thoughts on writing, and driving in fog, and the usual‘, he wrote:

It’s a weird thing, writing. Sometimes you can look out across what you’re writing, and it’s like looking out over a landscape on a glorious, clear summer’s day. You can see every leaf on every tree, and hear the birdsong, and you know where you’ll be going on your walk.And that’s wonderful.Sometimes it’s like driving through fog. You can’t really see where you’re going. You have just enough of the road in front of you to know that you’re probably still on the road, and if you drive slowly and keep your headlamps lowered you’ll still get where you were going.And that’s hard while you’re doing it, but satisfying at the end of a day like that, where you look down and you got 1500 words that didn’t exist in that order down on paper, half of what you’d get on a good day, and you drove slowly, but you drove.

And sometimes you come out of the fog into clarity, and you can see just what you’re doing and where you’re going, and you couldn’t see or know any of that five minutes before.

And that’s magic.

Neil’s observation about the writing process is really an observation that can be applied much more widely.  It is an observation, in my experience, about life and all of the projects we take on during our lives.    That ability then, to make an observation that applies both to the the minute and global, and to do it with vivid prose, is why I’ve loved Neil Gaiman’s work for so long.  And that is magic.
I’ve had moments on projects, and during my life, where everything is fitting together perfectly and it all just seems, right.  I have also had many moments when I just push along through a project / life following a dim path.  The only thing Neil doesn’t address is what to do when the fog closes in and  you can’t even see the road anymore.  I hope that this doesn’t happen to him during his work, but I’d love to hear his thoughts on it.
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