Early on in our relationship, my husband told me a story. I forget the story, but the moral sticks with me. When you're lost in the forest, just stop. Take a moment to get your bearings before you get yourself really lost.
Yesterday, I was lost. I didn't intend to take a moment. I was going to just barrel through with a total rewrite of the beginning and see where I ended up. Then an irritating but ultimately serendipitous thing happened. I got the sinus headache from hell*. The entire left side of my face felt like I had gnomes with pickaxes excavating my sinus cavities. And not a sinus pill in the damn house. It hurt to open my left eye, so driving to the store was out. I couldn't even read. Hell, it hurt to focus on the numbers on my remote control long enough to change the channel. (Thank goodness for the UP/DOWN buttons.)
What this meant was I couldn't write either. And I had the entire afternoon to just think (while watching Grey's Anatomy one-eyed.) As uncomfortable as I was, it turned out to actually be a good thing. I spent the time I had set aside for re-writing and just thought about what I was doing. I thought about what exactly I would need to do to get this sucker to the place I thought it should probably be.
Stopping right then was just what I needed. I realized that what I really need to do is see where the original story takes me before I go off half-cocked. (Thanks to Silver James, who suggested something to that effect in yesterday's comments - even if I'm going to take a different route to get there.) I need to throw out conventional wisdom here and go for it. (Thanks also to Janet for reminding me to go deep.)
So, I'll pick up the thread again today and let this sucker be what it needs to be.
Wish me luck. =o)
*Once the sun went down, whatever junk in the air causing my sinus thing went away and I felt much better. =o)