The joy of writing

The weeks that I have to turn in a story for my writing group are good because they force me to email out something that’s somewhat “complete”. I haven’t turned in anything longer than 3 pages and none of them I could really consider complete, but that I’m writing fiction at all is a delicious thing.

Lately I come home at night and I’m compelled to write and it feels good. I was talking to a good friend tonight about how when you hate work, it’s a really tough thing because you spend so much of your time there. And until fairly recently, I was miserable at work for many months. And all that time I was trying to sort out what it was I wanted to do next. I have a lot of interests, I considered a lot of different things, but in the end what I love and have always loved is writing. The only reason I haven’t pursued it is because I’m scared. I look at what Marg has done, and what Ineke is planning to do, and look at the other independent women on the periphery of my life, and I find what they’ve done, or are working on, inspiring. Fear is a silly thing to let get in the way of something you really want to do.

Now that I have a long term goal — something I haven’t had since I moved to San Francisco — I’m content. I’m still not crazy about work, but everything’s tolerable when you know you’re working towards something better.

I haven’t really written fiction since I graduated college. I half assed wrote one complete, new story when I applied to graduate writing programs years ago, but nothing since then. My new stories lately weave in bits and pieces of my real life in a way that’s entirely new to me. My stories in college were complete fictions, and while imaginative, are completely different from the stories I’ve been writing lately. It’s still fiction, but drawing on the pieces of my nonfiction experience has been interesting.

I obsessively read over a submission several times before I hit send. Part of it is the editorial process, and the other part is just hearing it over and over again in my head because it pleases me, and because I’m trying to hear if it’ll please other people, too. So many people know I write and so few have read any of my fiction. Somehow it’s ok to present it to less initimate people to critique, and scarier to give it to someone you care about to read. An intimacy and trust I’m not confident enough for. Yet.

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