I’ve been through several revision passes on my book manuscript by now. It’s been a gradual process of successive refinements, and I’ve tried to adopt a patient and methodical approach to this work. Then I put the thing aside for a while and came back to it about a month later. It then became clear to me, with a little bit of hindsight, that there is one section of the book that is unsatisfactory, a 7-page chapter toward the end, titled “The apartment.” I had had a few misgivings about it before but thought that I could deal with it by just pressing on ahead with more and more polishing of the prose. Now though I’m thinking that a different approach is needed altogether, at least for that one chapter. This particular chapter describes in some detail a period of several months in my life in which I suffered significant emotional trauma, went through a lot of psychological changes and experienced a great deal of personal growth and maturation. All in less than a year. It was the most extraordinary year of my life. BUT, I’m finding, for all of its great personal significance, that it’s a period in my life that is hard to write about, at least to write well about. Looking back on what I’ve written, that chapter now seems to have an at-times rather whiny tone, and to imply an excessive (and possibly narcissistic) preoccupation with my self. It is perhaps inherently very difficult to avoid these impressions because I am after all writing this chapter about experiences of inner psychological change.

But I now think that, though I’m pretty much satisfied with the rest of the manuscript, I need to seriously re-think my entire approach to the “The apartment” chapter. It is after all the pivotal chapter in the book, the book’s emotional center, and a description of a year that I have come to see as the most important year of my life. It may be very difficult to write well about such inner experience, just due to the nature of the subject, but I have to try to do it. I need to find a different approach to this chapter. How should one write about an inner process of psychological change and growth? I’m leaving soon for a vacation in Austria and Iceland. Maybe when I come back I’ll have some ideas on how better to approach this.

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