January 2, 2017 was the day I would begin writing again.
For two years I have been conducting research for an authorized biography on Dr. George Bass, the pioneer underwater archaeologist whose work helped pave the way for science now being undertaken around the world. I’ve interviewed world-class scientists in Sweden, Turkey, Texas and Mexico as well as talking to Dr. Bass regularly. I’ve accumulated a small library of books, genealogical materials covering decades, videos of special events, stacks of tapes, six notebooks, and two cartons of manila files.
A few interviews to go, but basically, I’ve gathered the material I need.
Research is not composing, however, and in the last two years, I have wandered far and long from actual writing. I began contemplating with a bit of anxiety the absolutely massive professional challenge I’d laid out for myself. When I called my friend screen writer Jacqueline Loring in Albuquerque to share such thoughts, she scoffed dismissively : “You said exactly the same thing when you were working on the Burgess biography.”
January 2 came in tandem with the Cold from Hell. I credit myself for dragging my body to the computer to begin…something, anything in the form of writing … before dragging myself back to bed to sleep for three hours. So, the return to writing had a slight delay, no big deal. I had the usual restless (useless?) need to organize the top shelf of my desk bookcase, move furniture, label files and sort index cards, etc. If you’re a writer, you understand.
In time I settled down. I labeled the obligatory black-and-white notebook “Daily Log 2017” and began working on a project summary and outline. I became aware of a growing sense of contentment, an internal happy hum. I was where I belonged, doing what I love to do, need to do, actually. I had begun writing again.