Nothing Left

I heard Joan Didion speak about her book “Blue Nights” last year. Someone from the audience asked her whether she had any stories about the death of her daughter than she didn’t write about. He clearly wanted the dirt, rather than reading what she had written and deemed fit for publication. She stared at him, possibly in hatred, and possibly in defeat and said

“That’s all I have.”

I find that I understand better what she meant now that I have a draft of the Fucker. Someone asked me a question about my mother and I had to visualize the little outline to the left of my manuscript in the Scrivener file to see if I had anything else to say about it that I hadn’t already said.

Yep, I have written it all out. There may be more there, but I can’t remember it at the moment. There is nothing left for me to say about grief or my past. I’ve written it all. Except, of course, that there is a ton more; and I remember more of it every time I have a conversation and sit down to write something new.

I kept a lot of self-important diaries when I was a late teenager. I remember writing in one “I don’t know what I think until I write about it” and unfortunately that’s still true.

I write so I know what the hell is going on. Why do you write?

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12 responses to “Nothing Left

  1. You’ve got a draft! This is cause for celebration, yes? Fuck that guy and his question, you’ve got a draft that says everything you need to say. Congratulations, Indy.

  2. My loyalty to your blog, your manuscript, your arduous journey mark me. And, they create problems too. I sit down with my grad students, who labour over this or over that, and it’s all I can do to keep myself from blurting: “just get the fucker finished!” I am not allowed to talk that way to them. And there’s no other phrase that comes easily to mind which acknowledges the simultaneous victory and distaste that completing a paragraph/page/chapter/manuscript entails. Any ideas for more polite renditions?

    • There’s always the American working class standby “Get ‘er done” or as my father used to say “Get in there and fight!”. Surely you can curse in front of grad students? Especially if you explain?

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