I’ve been having a lot of trouble writing lately.
That is, I’ve been having a lot of trouble writing creatively.
No, that’s not quite right either.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble writing fiction.
I’ve been writing up a storm of non-fiction. From reviews at Electric Literature to articles in Broadly to book-lists and essays on Read It Forward and BookBub to my single article on DAME Magazine.
It isn’t writer’s block. It’s writer’s busyness. It’s writer’s intense fear of churning out crap. It’s writer’s knowledge that no matter what she does, she already feels behind (yes, despite publications above, despite fiction publications, despite the fact that today, in an hour and a half, I’ll be lucky enough to have Skillshare folks come to my apartment to film me – me – teaching a class about writing flash fiction). It’s writer’s panic that she doesn’t now how to weave novels together anymore. Or words. Words that are fiction and not truth.
This moment of truth is terrifying because it is natural. It feels right. But this is not the writer I am. I am not a writer who writes truth. I am a writer who lies through her teeth in the form of fiction. I am the writer who’s convinced other people that some of her stories are autobiographical until she corrects them and tells them No, they’re not. They’re fiction. I wasn’t this girl, I wasn’t that man, I wasn’t this woman crying softly on her desk at work, I wasn’t this young woman in the hospital, I wasn’t these women hugging each other, crying, scared for their lives and rightly so because of a horrible thing they did.
Fiction, come back to me. Stop feeling like crap, please. I miss you. I miss your twists and turns, your marvelous language, the feeling of fabric straining through my fingers and wishing to be written into a story, fabric ripped apart and sewn back together again in the editing process.
I miss you, Fiction. I need you, Fiction.