This weekend I went to a nearby library to write with my writing group. We used to critique each other’s work, but have come to feel that we don’t have things ready for critique. So we write together instead. I like it better that way.

“What are you working on?” one of them asked.

“Oh, my stupid book.” I haven’t written anything that wasn’t my book other than emails and blog posts in months.

“Your memoir?”

“Yup,” I said breezily. Like I think about things that aren’t my damn memoir ever.

As we walked out, another asked me, “so, were you productive?” I had just watched my mother die on the page again.

“Uh, yes.” I blinked to come back to my surroundings a little more. “I’m at the point where as long as I get to the page, I’m never not productive. I have so much to do, and I know pretty much what it is. I just have to do it.” And I thought about S at my residency.

She said, “Yes, you’re getting toward done. I can tell. You’ve got that intensity about you. I was like that at the end of my book.”

If intensity she means, the book is more important than 98% of my life right now, then she would be right. I hope she’s right.

How do you know when the end is near?


5 responses to “Production

  1. The story I just sent off is semi-autobiographical (changed names and little details) so I really understand having to rewrite difficult memories over and over.

    I expected to send it off while wishing I had another week to look it over, but after the last edit, a word that was so misplaced I couldn’t believe I left it in so long, I felt peaceful. I hadn’t ever felt that way about the story before. Without warning, I knew it was done.

    Maybe we don’t have the luxury of knowing the end is near. Maybe we only know it’s the end when it happens.

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