In the poem called ‘Words’ for Lucy in Don’t Let them Tell you How to Grieve, there are these lines:
one foot in front of the other
and don’t forget to breathe
They are the last lines in a poem which is full of the words of comfort that people send to a grieving person, and they are so very apt. The poet says that they are the lines she clings to.
But I also think that, in happier circumstances, those words can be applied to the planning of a novel (or the planning of anything). So, today, I have begun writing the chronological stories of my two main characters, one foot in front of the other, breathing when I don’t know where I’m going (but not diving off into a haven of frenzied research) … and I shall continue, one foot in front of the other, until the end of the plan.
It sounds simple, I know. But the temptation to veer off the road into writing a full-blown scene, or into frenzied research (procrastination, so often) is gigantic.
Wish me luck, please.