I have been working on Night Dogs as my primary fiction piece. It’s coming along slowly now. This seems to be the way of storytelling. An idea appears, details gel and I write like gangbusters and then it slows as the story starts to demand sturdier legs to stand on. However, this is probably the best story of this length I have ever written and I know it has novel potential. My goal is to finish it in May and workshop it via a writing course I am going to be taking at the university this June.
Which leaves my regular readers wondering about the memoir? Well, maybe you aren’t. I haven’t forgotten it. Ideas about what to do with the rough draft swirl, recede before morphing into something tangible.
It’s hard to pick up again because it was hard to write. Deliberately picking at emotional scars is not my idea of something that is good for a person, but I want to finish it. It’s just not going to be quite the memoir it started out to be.
I have come to realize that the story of my loss and widowhood is not a story that would strike a cord with too many people. And, that the loss was not mine. It was Will’s loss. He died. Too young and too horrifically. All I lost was the option to live a life I thought I was supposed to live, however, that life was never mine to live. It was not a part of the great overall scheme of things for me. My loss was insignificant compared to his.
No, the story is in accepting and rebuilding because how many people really and truly do that?
And it’s Rob’s story too, so I have been in semi-discussions with him about writing his story as it overlaps with mine. He is warming to the idea, but regardless, we wouldn’t start on it until summer. So that is where that is.
I continue fitfully at 50 Something Moms. I have two short works I want to finish this spring that have promise, and then there are the boxes in the basement with half-finished or simply outlines ideas that I need to go through.
And thus I end my state of the writing address, dear readers.
8 thoughts on “The State of the Writing”
It seems you’ve benefited from being able to move from one project to another, having others waiting in the wings to keep your pen moving. While things you’re working on shift and evolve — you’ve done a great job adapting to those iterations, btw — you’re able to go onto something else and let the previous one simmer until you have a handle on what it should be.
I have deep admiration for that. And the memoir morphing into something new with a new face doesn’t really shock me — your situation has changed and morphed too. It seems natural.
It is fascinating to follow along as your work evolves. You are so open to what bubbles up and willing to assess at each stage. The writing that results will surely tell the story you want to tell.
“…option to live a life I thought I was supposed to live…”
my current demon is all around this thought… and i’m pretty sure that letting go of the bits of ‘i thought i was supposed to…’ is important. accepting that needs, interests, awareness change…
the picking up, moving on, and finding an unexpectedly joyful life on the other side of tragedy? that’s a good story… if you could run Rob’s side in parallel? that’d be downright compelling…
Yeah, though I can hear the complaining already about how “you guys were the exception, not the rule” which I think is utter bullshit.
Absolutely- not the exception. That said, those who do pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and carry on do get drowned out rather by the voices that complain, don’t they?
Two quotes that define my take on keeping on keeping on:
“I never got over it, I just got used to it”
and more importantly:
“I was dealt this hand, but I’m going to choose how I play the cards.”
I’m so impressed with your dedication to your craft, and I totally agree with the idea of fleshing out rather than cutting back in your second draft revisions.
It’s important to remember that most of us are not really victims of anything but rather people who were unwillingly diverted and yet still have control over our reactions and situations.
Has Tweeting had any effect on your writing? Has brevity subconsciously worked its way into your drafts?
Yes, but that’s not a bad thing. I find that I don’t agonize over wording as much now in the draft stage and that I am more like to flesh something out in the revisions than I am to cut wordy passages.