TheHusband is a snob.
So when he asks me what I’ve written lately, and I give him the word count from EPbaB for the day, he turns his nose up at me. “That’s not real writing,” he says. “That’s just your blog!”
This conversation goes back and forth every couple of months, with me defending and him objecting. Finally, it comes out to him, real writing is fiction. Preferably long fiction, a novella or even a novel. Short bits, flash, and other work such as writing a diary online are not “real writing.” But it would count, he says, if I got paid for what I did. (Which is a whole ‘nother entry.)
Writing fiction is hard work. You have to be an exceptional liar, because something you’re creating is false; a lie upon itself. You also have to have the witheral for isolation, tendency for physical solitude, and the ability to create at the drop of a hat. Doing all of this without going insane.
At least that’s my interpretation of it.
For years, when I come up with a story from my past that I was planning on working into a diary piece, he stops me and says it would make good story period. Why not turn that into something else?, he asks. Use it as a jumping off point for a bigger story concept. In the past, for whatever reason, I’ve chosen to ignore him because where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do with my writing seemed to be so opposite of where he tries to gently push me.
Something today clicked. I was thinking of something, which leads to another, as it often does, when I recalled an event from my childhood that upon my nearly 30 year removal from the incident, seems quite extraordinary. I was indeed going to write about the incident in its natural form for EPbaB, but something stopped me – the idea that this bit from my childhood would indeed make a grand launch pad into a fictional world. Why attempt to explain what happened and why when time has eroded the more fragile of the concepts of the period? Instead I could create another world where I can fill in the details as they were meant to happen or as I wanted them to happen or as I thought I had remembered them.
In short, make shit up.
This dawning of clarity of how this world works came to me at 4:45PM as I was in the bedroom taking my afternoon pills. When the dust cleared from this acceptance of truth, I checked the clock for the time so I could recall it back to TheHusband for I wanted this moment to be ingrained.
And just like that, the beginning of something came and within an hour, I had slightly over 1200 words (or the equivalent of 43 tweets) committed to paper in some kind of coherent series of events. When I told TheHusband I had committed 1200 words on fiction today, I got a “That’s nice, dear. Is that about two pages?” I huffed and corrected him on the page count.
It was the first time since the beginning of the year I have written anything resembling a fictional story.
A couple of years ago, I purchased Scrivener and last year, I started organizing my work. I have roughly over 40 story sparks, ideas or lines that could be the basis of something, which also includes a couple of ideas that are formatted for novel length. In addition, I have five pieces which are in progress and more than a dozen completed. With the exception of the odd submission here or there, none of this has been shopped around anywhere.
It’s always been painful as I could come up with ideas, I could take notes on these ideas, but getting those notes into a fully formed idea has mostly failed. One thing is for certain, I keep collecting ideas and my tenacity to see them through exists regardless of past experiences.
Another truism that has occurred over the last couple of weeks, as my come down from the drugs has taken place, I’ve started to seriously wonder why I haven’t been using writing as a way of my own escapism from this chaos in my head. Isn’t that what I’ve done before? Why is it so different now? And why wasn’t I exploring a fictional world to give some peace to the conflicts that keep occurring?
I have no answers.
If one thing is for certain from going through my archives in the last year, I am my own worst enemy.
P.S. The one thing I do know, is when I was able to do what I did today, the first thing I wanted to do after telling my husband was to tell you.
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