rewriting The Wolves feels like taking a smooth, pretty egg, smashing it, and then gluing all the pieces back together—the result is ugly and cracked and probably more real for it. or so i keep telling myself.
though i have heard this said about all kinds of revisions.
this february is wearing me down. this is a milestone birthday year for me, and i have started it with a trip to the emergency room, a partner in a perpetual state of i’m-coming-down-with-something, and a daunting to-do list for the house this spring. two solid years of working on this one project is starting to show.
and it is work, it is capital-W Work. always flummoxed at how so few people truly understand this. it’s fun, but not always; it’s exciting, but not always. a lot of the time it is sludge-y and tiring and i can feel myself getting old in this chair while i push the mountain an inch further down the road. it is, in many ways, a second job, only you don’t get paid for it. folks who don’t do it don’t get it; many folks who have in fact done it perpetuate such helpful, encouraging ideas as “the market’s oversaturated for your topic, start over” and “writers peak in their 30s.”
i am not a violent person, but i want to punch each and every one of the many, many people who have told me the latter. i once had a professor—a professor!—tell me that i would get all my good ideas in my 20s.
i barely remember my 20s.
i need to stop looking back all the time.
i feel full of want, all the time, these days. wanting a break, wanting help, wanting more than this—only i cannot give form to the more, i cannot articulate it.
it is hard to be in the moment when the moment is the ditch you have written yourself into. don’t get me wrong: it’s a comfortable ditch, and i am quite proud of parts of it. but in a ditch you look back and see all the work you’ve done, the mistakes you made; you look ahead, to where you’re supposed to dig next, and you see . . . dirt.
i need lateral space, or its real-world equivalent.