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O. Louis Guglielmi: The River (1942)

"Where another inertia ruled the start, its counterpart commands the finish."

I can't fairly characterize myself as relentless, but beyond a certain uncertain point, I have known myself to turn Resolute. This Publishing business, for instance, which has turned out to hold far more dimensions than I at first suspected, has left me feeling, in turns, helpless and reassured, overwhelmed and bored stiff. It has offered a gauntlet of negative reinforcement and many must-dos between the beginning and realizing my aspiration. I'd even gladly bartered away my beginning naivety for a better story once I realized that I could hold my dream or realize something tangible, but not both. Now that I'm down to the final few weeks of the planned excursion, I've grown more comfortable with the intrusion. I can sense an impending resolution; I swear that I can smell it now. Downwind of resolution, I might just as well turn Resolute.

My schedule, sometimes my staunch opponent, has now become my ally.
It opens up, creating adequate space for whatever work I deem necessary. Once long hours have seemingly grown much shorter and the work, once primarily disorienting, has turned reassuring. I sense my route through the remaining effort and no longer feel wary of everything I couldn't possibly know. I might have finally come to know enough so that paranoia's no longer a reasonable option. I am not more courageous now, just more comfortable in my skin, and I realize that I have invested a lot of skin into this game. I might even be all in now.

Ambivalence might well seem justified at first. Though it doesn't necessarily advance the cause, it might better preserve possibilities. Later, once potentials have stopped incessantly popping; the program settles into something that might just as well turn unrelenting—no need for shyness in the face of well-known challenges. The fiftieth repetition holds little mystery, and I feel more like a semi-detached observer than the protagonist, anyway. Some former self charted this course. I'm following through more than breaking trail.

Repetition has better than halved the time it takes me to assemble a story into my manuscript template. The work has finally become interesting. It no longer feels inconveniencing, as if I was merely repurposing, for I have been discovering anew, not just dredging up memories. The earlier creation steps, I see now that I'm looking, were necessary iterations but could not have been the final ones. At first, I felt I'd assigned myself to cleaning up and carting away leftovers. The raw material was unfinished, but I see that it needed some curing before it could be assembled into anything worthy of being considered permanent. Now that I can properly see my process, I might just as well become Resolute. I'm almost finished.

I acknowledge now a wisdom that chose which series I would opt to finish in the background of this Publishing Series. I had at least a dozen series to choose from, yet I chose the most recent one posted. I'd earlier insisted upon manuscripting in the order finished, a practice which had left me feeling as if I would never manage to make it up and into modern times. I'd relegated my work to my ever-more far-distant past when I needed to focus on something more immediate. I chose my Success Stories to serve as my focus, providing some built-in reinforcement. I wanted my work to yield a success. No, I needed this effort to feel successful. What better choice than to choose to finish the book entitled Success?

The Resolute count their chickens as if they've already hatched, for they might just as well have hatched, even if they haven't. This confidence colors every subsequent action. Our protagonist moves through rather than merely into now. In his mind, he's already arrived at his destination. There's no longer hesitation in his step because he's convinced himself that he's already won. There's a small risk that hubris or its second cousin might yet prevent his imagined resolution, but that would likely only provide a welcomed plot twist and further evidence that he's essentially finished. He has momentum in his favor now. Where another inertia ruled the start, its counterpart commands the finish. It seems pretty much done, save for some shouting. There will soon be shouting, too.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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