The Writing Life

So. I’ve been taking a hiatus from this blog in an effort to write more fiction, with predictably somewhat mixed results.  I’ve liked the idea of writing fiction since, well, nearly always.  I’m not very good at it, but as wise friend (who is a real writer) pointed out recently that if you keep at something you might just get better.

One of the main problems I run into when I attempt to write fiction is my tendency to overanalyse.  For example: say I’m trying to write a novel about a young woman who is the captain of a smuggling vessel (let’s just say).  The first thing I do is create overarching liberal and feminist messages to embed into my fiction, because this is easier for me to do than actually writing.  This puts me in a sticky situation, and one I feel I need to justify before continuing: why am I writing this, anyway?  Has this story already been written?  If so, by whom?  If not, why not? I find myself critiquing the structural and literary integrity of a novel that I haven’t yet begun to write.  This leads to existential crisis, as so many things do these days: what am I doing with my life?  Maybe I should just go back to some dead-end publishing job and get it over with.

You see my predicament.  Then there’s my ever-present actual job (i.e. mothering).  While I’m busy trying to write fiction, my daughter is getting ready for business school (see below).

She has about as much staying power as I do with this stuff, as you can see by her hasty exit from the frame, stage left.

It’s hard to catch her on camera lately: she moves too fast.  I have visions of her future (perhaps at age four) wherein she is the ringleader of a small band of hoodlums, terrorizing the neighborhood with early morning yelling session, vegetables tossed at unsuspecting dogs, and imperious refusal to eat anything except broccoli, trout, and fresh mango (this last feat she has already accomplished, to my astonishment). All of this growing and yelling and moving leads to very little opportunity for writing, but we soldier on.  Next up: the suburban novel! YA fantasy!  The options are endless, and yet so, so elusive…

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