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In the Glorious Time of Unknowing

In the Glorious Time of Unknowing

8.11.20

It’s impossible to remember now the overwhelming satisfaction of figuring out how to walk—but there had to be a moment when that big, clever, unwrinkled brain in your skull figured it out. “Oh—I get it! You shift your weight evenly from this leg to that leg! That’s it! I’m doing it!”

The older we get, the rarer those wonder-fizzed “I get it!” opportunities are… unless, of course, you plunge yourself into something utterly new—deliberately or otherwise.

Back in the Bronze Age, when I discovered that most people didn’t just LOVE to write, I became a fundraising copywriter. (You know: “Dear Friend, please send money, signed [your name here].”) And for a few years, I was immersed, like an Earl Grey tea bag in a big old vat of hot water, just soaking in everything I could learn and flavoring the world around me.

Then for about ten years, I was competent and capable.

And then for the rest of the time, I was bored. I would dismissively say things like “Please—I could write that at a stop light.” And it wasn’t hubris, either. I really could make you cry or rage or whatever emotion I chose, and then you’d feel compelled to make a donation of your hard-earned money. I was really, really good at it.

And now I’m back to those beginning years, only now I’m in the romance world. I’m a rank beginner again. There’s no doubt that it’s far harder to not know all the fundamentals—and to not have a firm grasp of “rules” in order to thoughtfully break them… but I had forgotten how IMMERSIVE this experience is. There’s a moment (for me, multiple moments!) when I learn—oh. THAT’S how you do that. That is SO COOL.

And it’s totally exciting. Moving from base competence to actual skill is… well, it’s glorious. I have SO MUCH to learn—and I feel like a string of Christmas tree lights that’s just been plugged in again after long months of lying idle in a box in the darkness.

I know I only get a few years of this incredible time, when I’m eating up basic knowledge like a starving person, so I’m going to enjoy every minute. There’s so much to learn—but I’m so damned hungry!

Easy lessons: The nasty em-dash I’ve reviled for so long. Like this—instead of my preferred en-dash – like this.

Hard lessons: Deep POV. Sheesh—it’s kicking my tail but good. I’m going after it with the light of determination in my newly-bright eyes!


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