Friday, November 05, 2010

Life slogans

Much like the time I volunteered to host a holiday dinner at my apartment a couple of years ago and proceeded to compile a complicated menu of meats wrapped in other meats and various other dishes I'd never made before, only to scrap the whole thing and serve pasta, this novel I am writing is fastly becoming a symbol for my life slogan, which is: I didn't know it would be this difficult. 

Otherwise known as: I didn't think it would take this long.

Engrave either of those on my tombstone.

Everything seems quite doable, when you're imagining it beforehand. There are steps to follow, 1, 2, 3, DONE.

Lately I'm imagining re-doing my bedroom. It needs paint, a new light fixture, new furniture and a rug. Sounds simple, but thinking of other home projects I hesitate to begin.

It's like the time my husband and I decided to rip up the carpet ourselves, only to discover the hundreds of carpet staples underneath that needed to be removed by hand. I distinctly remember saying I didn't know it would be this difficult AND I didn't think it would take this long.

I said the same things a few months ago when we hauled a giant bookcase into the backyard to paint it white and coat after coat after coat over the span of two entire weekends, the damn thing still was not white, and STILL IS NOT completely white. I didn't think it would be so difficult or take so long.

And now I sit in a room at a computer, creating a whole fictional fantasy world full of fictional people whose personalities and histories I've built and there's a nagging feeling that I'm not only taking too long to do this but that it's simply no good. I've stared at it too long myself so I can't tell you for sure whether it's any good or not. It's not done. It feels like it will never get done.

I think these are typical writer-ly sentiments. If we weren't wracked with self-doubt, we would probably not be writers. We would be doctors or performing some other noble profession. I've known writers who pretended not to doubt every word they've written, and they are annoying. And I've known writers who genuinely do not doubt every word they've written, and those guys? Are certifiably insane.

I must just keep writing, writing, writing. If it is shit, it is shit. At least it will be shit that I finished. 


  1. Good for you for persevering! It's a massive effort and impressive that you're even attempting it. But I'm sure that it's great quality as well. You can do it!

  2. I tried to write a book once. I think I was 14 at the time. It failed miserably.

    I'd like to write a book, although I have no idea where to even start. I can assure you though, I'd have self-doubt coming out of my pores the entire way through...

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  4. For the record, I have apparently censored my own husband's comment, which was about shit and toilet paper and had nothing to do with what I wrote here. I'm quitting caffeine and have little tolerance for such things today.