I wonder if there is anyone in the world (other than Helon Habila) who is as obsessed by Waiting for an Angel as I am? And if there is, I wonder if they have ever experienced such simultaneous love and dread for it as I am experiencing at this moment? Why can I not write Chapter 3? This was supposed to be the most brilliant and exciting chapter. This is the chapter I have been building up to. This is where all of the truly original (I hope) analysis was supposed to come in for a grand finale. And instead I find myself ploddlingly pushing it through the outline I wrote four months ago. My writing is devoid of any great joy or insight or excitment. And yet this is the reason I started writing the thesis; these are the ideas that have been driving me from the beginning.
I took a break last night and worked until 3am on an old story I found in a college file. I took out a bunch of corny dialogue, rewrote large portions, and inserted some probably pretty heavy-handed symbolism. I allowed myself to do this because the inspiration comes so rarely and because I figured the excitement of working on the story might transfer back into excitement of working on the thesis. Alas, this morning when I woke, I only wanted to go back and read the story (is it something or is it just a stupid little college daydream?)--not work on my thesis.
I just took another break and wrote my "Thank you" page, as if I had already finished the thesis, defended it and was ready to print up the final copy. It was comforting and liberating to imagine myself done and to think of all the people who have walked me through this process. Maybe this act of imagination will spurr me back into the excitement I have felt whenever I think about writing on the novel.
Or maybe I just need to go back and read Waiting for an Angel again for the twelfth or thirteenth time. That usually provides the necessary inspiration.