May 30th, 2009

Driving and Writing and Life


The other day I was driving my parents to the airport when suddenly there was a down pour - a complete deluge.  The kind of storm where the rain is splashing so hard the wind shield wipers can't keep up and the traffic slows to a virtual stand still.  Or as my mother in law would say "A total gully-washer".

I absolutely hate driving in these kind of storms.  I get so tense; straightening my posture as if pulling myself closer to the steering wheel will somehow make me see better.  But I can't.  No one can. Until the rain lessens.

This reminded me of a fabulous quote by E.L. Doctorow:  

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Isn't that such a great quote? It's seems particularly relavent because I just got an enormous amount of revision notes on my book two from my agent.  Like enormous.  And I was feeling totally overwhelmed.  Stuck in the downpour with no visibility.  But I have to remember if I keep my eyes focused, stop looking for the finish line and just look to finish a little each day, I can make the trip.  I've done it before.

And wouldn't you know it, later that day, after the rain cleared, there was a rainbow.  Big and bright and beautiful.