The Wrong Time

I’m nearing the end of draft #2,984. Once again I’m contemplating sending The Fucker to a reader. Once again, I have a jumble of text at the end that I don’t want to deal with. For the first time in a while, the jumble is only one chapter rather than, say, the last third of the manuscript.

I think about writing about X, which involves an intersection of grief, pain, and love. The anniversary of X swiftly approaches, and I think: It’s the wrong time. I don’t want to write about X and get all upset about it again. My friends are tired of listening to me weep. DP practically leaves the room every time I bring up something about grief or my past. I’d judge him for that, but every time he talks about [subject redacted] I try to soothe him, move along, calm his anger and his pain. We hate to see each other in pain.

Wanting your partner to be happy is generally a sign of a good partnership. But it does get in the way of writing. Spend an evening crying over something difficult in my life that I am writing about? Partner gets worried. At the writing residency I wrote, cried, went for a walk, had wine and dinner with comrades, cried a little more in my room, watched crap TV and went to bed. It’s not what I want to do forever, but it did get the job done.

It’s harder to write about this shit in my real life. (Actually everything is harder when you’re not in the magical residency time. Go to the grocery store after spending four hours writing? Bliss. Go to the grocery store after four hours writing/working/living in my house? A normal pain-in-the-ass experience. But I digress.)

But maybe I just need to push through what I feel is the wrong time. It’s never a good time. I’ve made it through mother’s day, father’s day, and a couple unhappy anniversaries. Just a few more to go. And when I finish this draft, I’m going on a long writing vacation.

What should I write next?


24 responses to “The Wrong Time

  1. My husband and I spent this weekend’s “break” discussing the bookstore we’re going to open, the one next to a coffee shop and that serves local wines, the one where our dogs are the “house dogs,” the one that will have a stone fireplace and giant leather chairs, the one that our daughter will move here to help manage, the one where my husband will work mostly with collecting and selling first editions and I’ll schedule all of the author readings.

    You know the one.

  2. Write whatever story that you have been looking for but can’t find. Write the one you can’t wait to get back to. Write about love and loss and heartache and make it funny and wry and place it somewhere you know inside and out. Make it about young adults and fairies and dragons and sexual orientation. Make it wonderful and beautiful. Then add a talking unicorn as the soothsayer.
    Yes, do that.

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