Update: This is How the Writing is Going
Spoiler: the writing is not going well.
For months now, I've been trying to get a good start on my next novel — what I'm affectionately calling evermore book (claudia's tale), because I don't have a good title for it yet and because it's inspired by and seeking to emulate the vibes of a few specific songs off of Taylor Swift's evermore.
The above is a taste of what I'm going for. But the problem, as I realized last night, is that I'm trying to accomplish a lot with this book: an exploration of an unlikeable and unreliable female narrator's psyche; portraying depression that's managed and not the cause of someone's lashing out; delving into an ex-best friendship (abusive) and ex-relationship (friends with benefits, now); and trying to write about a new, flowering and still so fragile potential relationship.
I feel like this is a very ambitious novel. It's the kind of novel I want to be good enough to write, but I'm...not sure if I am yet. But this is the novel that's on my heart now. This is the novel that's burrowed itself into not just my soul but also my fingertips, and they itch to write it.
So I've tried. I've started drafting it not once, not twice, but three times. I made an aesthetic. I posted an accountability drafting thread on Twitter. I tried outlining. More than once. I have a Notion page dedicated to this book, a Google drive folder, and nighttime epiphanies scrawled on my hand.
I'm desperate to write this book. I will prevail eventually, I know it. But in the meantime...in the meantime, I'm gonna keep starting over and over until I find that right beginning, because one thing I've learned about my writing process over the years is that I can't get the ball rolling until I have an opening.
I don't know why. It's just the way my brain works. Some people can write whole books out of order; my brain is so linear that until I stumble into the correct first line, I'm just...I'm done.
But I do think I've finally had the necessary epiphanies. So I'm going to start my accountability thread over again from scratch, and I'm going to try once more. And then again.
There's this essay I wrote back in January, about something close to my heart. It's vulnerable in scary ways (aka it's not about writing or mental illness), and I've been too terrified to post it on my Medium or even submit it anywhere for consideration.
I want to, though. It's a part of myself I want to share. It's a revelation I had, and it's pretty good, if I do awkwardly say so myself.
More than that, I just...I miss writing personal essays. Earlier this week, while I was in the hospital, I had a long conversation with a memoirist. It revived this half-dormant part of me that loves to crack open my laptop and spill my thoughts and life experiences into others' lives.
So, I don't know — maybe you'll see more essays out of me going forward?
Man, I don't even know where to get started here. I've been writing really depressing poems lately. I think they're lovely, but they're dark. They've been helping me to navigate the darkness in my mind, though, these past few months where I've been unspeakably depressed.
I haven't written the types of poems I used to — the ones inspired by my joyful observation of the world around me. The kind that inspire good feelings, not just portray negative emotions.
But one of my goals for this revamped site was to publish some poems. So I guess I need to get my act together, don't I?
A Minor Life Update
I was in the hospital for the past week. Psychiatrically. I will write about it someday. But for now, I'm feeling a lot better and more hopeful. And I'm less scared than I was a week ago.