“Writing is like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” –E.L. Doctorow
That’s one of my favorite quotes about writing, because no matter how many times I see it or hear it quoted, I never cease to need the reminder.
I want guarantees when I’m writing that the pages I write are part of a cohesive whole and that the destination will be worth arriving at. I want to know I won’t have to cut the scene later. I want to know how long it will take me to reach THE END. I want, I want, I want…control.
But all that control-seeking can keep me from writing anything at all. Better than I keep moving slowly through the darkness, getting to know my characters along the way. Even if I ultimately don’t use the scene, I’ll know my story better for having written it.
Moving through the dark also forces me to focus on the immediate scene and its details, which isn’t, in the end, such a bad thing.