Now Eviatar shifts to chunking tasks. He calls this, quite nicely, “a mountain with stairs.”
Two points resonated for me. First, about outlines, he suggests only outlining or changing outlines _between_ final drafts. This may be part of my problem with “code rules” as it has been restructured five times, at least I think. Not all of these were after a final draft was done.
Second, he advocates writing and then revising in stages. This more useful for my students than for me, perhaps, as I am already a committed reviser. They still think, most of them, that writing is getting your ideas on paper instead of realizing that writing is another form of thinking. They think it is a mistake to rewrite, instead of normal.
Now, to complicate matters, the idea of the mountain with steps is appealing; common-sensical too. Break down the seemingly distant and difficult task into smaller, feasible steps. I have climbed mountains. I absorbed *Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance*. I have told hiking groups I led that to climb a mountain you have to have the disposition of a cow. The difference is that in those cases, I usually know which way is _up_. In writing, I find myself wondering if these steps are really the right steps to take. I especially wonder if I am going up at a good rate, or, even worse, going down. Efficiency and failure trouble me more directly than self-doubt that I will finish. In mountain terms- I worry now about going sideways or downhill more than about whether I will ever get to the top.