As I have mentioned in each of the past few posts, I am having a difficult time writing the Disgrace chapter. The longer I spend writing the chapter, it seems, the more I struggle. Part of the problem, I suppose, is the simple fact that the longer I spend writing, the farther removed I am from the planning stages and from the criticism I spent so much time reading. To remedy this issue, I have been rereading the novel and, within the next few days, will begin revisiting some of the criticism. Since I am (mercifully) nearing the conclusion of a rather lengthy section of the chapter, there's something of a clean break between what I have been writing and what I will be writing next coming up. One difficulty I have had with the particular section I have been working on lately is that, while it is not an introduction, per se, it does set up and unify the sections that will follow it. Once it is completed, however, I will be able to address each of the next few sections as I would an individual essay; that is to say, I can review the criticism and notes for each section, draft an outline, and write it without worrying about altering the structure of future segments. That will be nice.
The real difficulty I have been having is similar to a problem I first identified while writing my chapter on The Master of Petersburg last spring. Looking back at one of my entries from last May, I seem to have identified the source(s) of some of my discomfort:
the further I get into a given chapter, the more I worry about its quality. This seems to happen every time I write anything of a certain length. I suppose it is only natural that, the more one invests in a given project, the more he or she stands to lose if it is rejected. Still, the anxiety that accompanies the latter stages of the chapter can make writing that much more difficult.
and, from another post:
There have been times when I have felt some satisfaction, have sensed that the day's work was pretty solid but, as is much more often the case, I tend to feel as if I have not done a good enough job, that my work is a sprawling mess, that I have veered off topic. And the weight of those doubts tend to get heavier over time.
For tomorrow: Read or, if I can, try to write some more.