Eureka – Heureka! (I have found it!)
Archimedes is taking a bath and he notices the level of the water raises when he steps – in so discovering that the volume of irregular objects could be calculated with precision (Wikipedia, List of Greek Phrases). He was so excited he ran out into the street, naked and dripping, shouting, “I have found it!”
I was never good at math so the volume of water thing is beyond me (though I can do budgets – work budgets, not home ones as my wife will remind me). But there are moments in writing when something clicks in your work and you want to run out of your home, naked, dripping wet, and shout, “I have found it!” or “Eureka!”
After my seventh attempt at writing an ending to Open Wounds I outlined my whole novel on electronic index cards (in Scrivener), noting the characters who were in each chapter, the purpose of each chapter (what needed to happen), and one sentence synopsis. I spread out the cards across my screen and stared at them for three months.
One day I saw it – the ending that had eluded me for so long. And it was right, and good.
I didn’t run out into the street naked as that would have caused a bit of a scene, and it was winter. But I did have on my phiz a huge shit-eating grin for about a week.
– If drooling counts as dripping wet, then I covered all bases.
When you do have your eureka moment, enjoy it. Allow yourself to be. They don’t happen that often and should be savored so they can get you through the long stretches of hard work in between.