I’m nearing the end of this experiment that has zigzagged its way into a manuscript. I’ve been busy slashing my words and filling in large holes. I’m affected by tunnel vision. All I can see is my screen and sentences that need better structure. Where are my transitions? This is messy. Where did that come from? Oh, I like this, but I hate that! These are my thoughts all day long. I’m fidgety and hand-wringing. I’m bleary eyed with lack of sleep. I feel a little crazy. I feel like a writer.
Some of this has been punishing. I’m digging into my past; plunging headlong into a time I’ve moved on from. Old feelings resurface, tears are shed, and deep breaths are made. It brings up questions. Most of December I asked, what’s the point? Why am I doing this? Should I keep writing this? I’m so entrenched in the past and it isn’t normally how I choose to live my life. I feel like myself, but myself from a decade ago with perspective. I can’t stop now, though. I’ve come too far and I’m reaching the end. What a waste if I let fear get in the way now. Because that’s what all the questions are about – I’m afraid.
I’m afraid of failing. I know – who isn’t? The story is really taking shape and I’m starting to think about agents and publishing and what if my book is total crap? We’ll just keep the blog and the hope of a book between us and all will be well. It’s tempting to print the pages, plunk them into a drawer, and slam it shut. I don’t have to try. But, I do. I have to try.
There’s a writing group I’m a part of. We meet downtown and pore over our work, reading and critiquing, suggesting and exclaiming. These women can write, achingly and brilliantly write. I jot down notes in my margins, happy that I’m in a chair across from them, and secretly hoping we’ll meet forever. Not only is it good for my writing, but it feeds my soul like nothing else has in a very long time. It is life-giving.
I’ve rewritten a lot of the story. I’ve gone back to the beginning and worked my way through. There’s a lot that doesn’t make it to the internet. Some of it will be saved for the book. There are pieces I can’t bring myself to throw up as ‘post’. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but it’s wrapping up. The end is near. I can feel it. It makes me hell bent. Hell bent on finishing. Hell bent on trying. Hell bent on telling the story. That’s the bottom line of it all. I just want to tell the story.
I still couldn’t give you a solid answer, an answer to the why. I don’t know why I’m telling the story. Not really. Not definitively. People have asked and offered guesses – closure, catharsis, self help, and even entertainment. I don’t know that it’s any one of these or all of these. I only know this is the story I want to tell. And, for right now, that will have to be enough.