I have assumed for several months that at night my husband logs onto our computer and pulls up the file containing my as-yet unfinished book to check on my progress.
Do not ask me why I believed this was happening. My husband is not in the habit of spying on me normally, so I had no real reason to think he was doing this. Yet I was certain, beyond a doubt, that it was happening.
Sometimes when he would ask me, How is the book going?
I would think to myself, You know very well how the book is going. But I was intent on helping him believe that I didn't know what he was up to, so I would say this or that about the progress I was making.
I considered for months changing the password to the computer or installing password protection on the document.
Last night he asked How's the book? Are you feeling blocked?
As it happened, yesterday there was little progress. I'd attached a new beginning (probably the 20th new beginning to the book) and gone through what I have so far and made some tweaks. There was no noticeable growth in the word count, and there may have even been a decline in the word count as I was cleaning things up and eliminating unnecessary stuff.
But how could he have known that little progress had been made if he wasn't reading the book?
I'd had enough of the ruse. I finally told him I knew he was reading the book. He denied it and then laughed for about half an hour because I wouldn't believe him.
Then he looked at me very seriously and said I would never invade your privacy like that. You will show it to me when you are ready.
And I finally believed him.
I live in half real life, half fantasy land, and in both worlds I am paranoid.
In both worlds I am not quite enough. Self-doubt can be crippling, although I do believe I need it in order to be a writer. If you meet a writer who believes what they write is wonderful ... well, do not introduce me to those kinds of people. It would not end well.
My husband is earnest. We are lying in bed and I'm playing with his hair and he is looking at me with his blue eyes I've always envied and he says that I don't know how intelligent and funny I am, and he is a very sweet man. Who obviously has not read my book.