I’m a little bit of a mess at the moment. Tired of the barefoot nightmares. Tired of hip/neck/foot/back pain. Tired of writer’s block. Tired of summer.
(Though the tomatoes are just coming in and that’s definitely a bright happy thing. Pickling and canning start soon. That also makes me happy.)
Maybe my writer’s block is because I’m not in direct communication with Jesus or the cosmic universe or MY FEELINGS.
I was telling my friend Sharon about my difficulty settling on a project because nothing I write is working or is worth a shit right now. Or for the last 6 months. She asked some good questions. I didn’t have good answers.
One thing that I did realize for the thousandth time is that I don’t like being everyone’s heavy*. I don’t like being your emotionally heavy and dark friend. I don’t like being a heavy and emotionally dark writer. I don’t like to read really dark stories myself. I want to live my life in a Mary Stewart novel. My fantasy life is always a suspense novel with a little romance thrown in. I don’t want to be the the heavy in every room, the heavy in every crowd, the heavy in every family. I’m always the heavy. Always.
The only man I ever loved besides Philip called me “heavy”. It was such a stinging blow because it was the truth I hated most about myself. The next person he went out with was a world adventurer and full of light.
At work meetings I’m always the one being practical and boring and can be counted on to bring everyone in the room thumping back into the center of reality and deadlines and what isn’t working. No one likes that person.
So perhaps I’m having a core crisis here. What I AM is not what I want to be.
I wrote a dystopian novel because it was such a lighter topic than the one about the raped girl who grows up and heals and then is attacked again and broken into more pieces. I wrote about a grim future for my country because it was light compared to what I really (apparently) need to be writing. But every time I tell people about the rape story I feel like I’m drawing curtains across their sunshine and plunging them into a hateful awful place.
The first time I tried to write that rape story I ruined it trying to protect my main character from the darkness and cloaked her in a cheesy romantic comedy that wasn’t even really funny, just cheesy. Because I felt so bad and also because I didn’t want to be writing this dark shit.
I DON’T WANT TO BE THE HEAVIEST DARKEST PERSON EVERYONE KNOWS.
I DON’T WANT TO WRITE THE HEAVIEST DARKEST BOOKS.
I want to be a light bearer.
Sharon assures me that I also bring humor into the dark with my
victims friends. That I always offer a little salve of hope and my individuality and weird way I see the world is interesting and cool. That while I’m busy crushing your heart I am also making you laugh.
I don’t want to give my family anything new to put under a microscope.
I also struggle because I don’t know HOW to tell this story right.
All these writers I know are writing science fiction, Young Adult fiction, romance, and steampunk – stories with adventure and fun and cool landscapes – real entertainment.
Nothing about the rape story I’m writing is entertaining – in the same way that watching the movie “Ordinary People” wasn’t entertaining.
So Sharon says maybe I’m not writing well because I’m not writing what I know I need to be writing. That I’m just afraid to be the writer I AM and am busy trying to be the writer I WISH I WAS.
She might be right.
When I wrote the first draft I was cracking open like a dry nut inside and all this awful suppressed fear and pain came out like slow hot lava. I wasn’t just trying to protect Jane from her story, I was trying to protect myself from her story too.
I ‘m always going to be the heavy in the room.
I should get over it and get on with the writing.
*Not physically heavy, I don’t mean FAT.