This morning, while chicken-sitting, I opened the hen house door to see one lone hen sitting stubbornly on her eggs. She was not ready to give them up. I was not ready to be pecked. I closed the door.
It occurred to me as I bustled away eggless that my muse was doing the same thing: sitting. My novel has languished for the past week as I make a pivotal decision. After three months of writing three mornings a week, I have some to a crucial crossroads–do I write in first person, (I am, I do, I think) or third (what I call the storyteller’s distance)?
I am about to start cooking: do I want the pure-egg experience of over-easy or do I want scrambled with all those delicious bits of veggies and cheese? First person is more natural to me. I have written a journal since I was 13 years old. But the scrambled eggs of different points of view gives me more leeway for plotting and taking on the roles of other characters. Which will it be?
As I put the egg carton away empty I thought, “This is a decision that I need to let sit.” I have to allow my soul to nudge me with a dream or a conversation or a passage in a book. Maybe my two advisers will help me decide. As the day has evolved I have felt various subtleties of this decision arise. Trust the book itself. Trust that what is most joyous and feels the best is the answer. Trust that I need only follow my heart not the various fears that say I could choose the wrong point of view. Trust that even this pause has its purpose. As is so often the case in creating, trust is the key.
Most of all I have to trust that, as I wait for my muse to get hungry and get off the eggs, I will become the person who knows the answer.