Today I wrote a few pages of my new novel, edited a few pages more. Then, feeling strangely productive, I outlined the next chapter.
I won’t, of course, follow this outline, will end up misplacing it or dribbling it with food. Why, then, did I feel so smug as I wrote? I sat at the breakfast nook, a cat on my lap, and imagined someone viewing from above: “Look at her! She’s outlining her next chapter! She’s a real writer!”
The idea depressed me so much that now I want a cookie. I want this:
All I have in my cupboards are healthy foods. Healthy foods suck when you’re a writer who can’t finish her second novel.
(‘Why write a book?’ I imagine asking God.
‘Why not?’ he’d say with a shrug, and then he’d get back to watching The Food Network.)
My second novel is a mess. I’ve been switching from first- to third-person and agonizing: Which is the stronger voice? Which more accurately portrays my character? My theme? My intent?
Damned if I know.
So, yeah, I want a peanut butter cookie. I want that buttery, white-flour and white-sugar badness in my mouth. I want to smooth it down my throat. I want to bury my head in a plate of peanut butter cookies and eat face-down, like a pig.
Is that you, Wilbur??
I suppose if writing were easier, more people would do it. But really, is it supposed to be this hard?
Writing: Stuck in Chapter Ten (I’ve been stuck in Chapter Ten for over a week. I’m getting tired of Chapter Ten)
Reading: White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Quote of the day: “Mom brought me some peanut butter cookies and a biography of Judy Garland. She told me she thought my problem was that I was too impatient, my fuse was too short, that I was only interested in instant gratification. I said, ‘Instant gratification takes too long.’”
Carrie Fisher, Postcards From the Edge