It occurs to me, and by no means for the first time, how many tightropes writers have to walk. Narrative vs. dialogue, famliy time vs. writing time. art vs. commercialism–these and many, many more besides. We live in a spiderweb of balances and trade-offs, walk fine lines as a matter of course.
Even more fun is that these balances constantly shift and change according to time and tide and who knows what. In particular, the balances change according to each particular work. every novel, essay, story, book has its own peculiar set of requirements that cause the sands to migrate under our feet.
There really is no One True Way to write. There is not even One True Way for me to write. The madness’s methods change. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but habits do drift across time. What works for me today will probably not work this time next year.
I have to constantly remain on guard against becoming tied to any one way. Staying flexible means better and more consistent work, paradoxically. By keeping the methods fresh, I keep the words fresh (and the plots and the characters, etc.). I have to remind myself that progress requires movement. Sliding along my spiderweb of tightropes is a necessity of my writing life.
What tightropes do you walk?