That would be me.
Here I am, sitting at my computer, staring at the last sentence I wrote in my novel in progress.
Two weeks ago.
I barely remember what I was even talking about, so I need to start from the top to refresh my memory.
I have a job (or two), besides a family, and an active household.
My mind sizzles all day with the adventures of my characters, my emotions roller coast through my numerous daily chores. I change their names and their loves, suffer through their challenges, swear to solve the problems I had so cleverly inflicted, while I busy myself in the hallways of my workplace, smiling, helping, acknowledging, performing my duties scrupulously, believing that, once at home, I can shut the door and weave my plot with joy and genius.
Images of a room with a view of an apart in Paris, my desk located by a tall, narrow window with green wooden shutters, overlooking the famous rooftops, tease me, and I swear I can smell the buttery brioches baking in the boulangerie downstairs. Oh the dream of composing my novel in Paris, instead of extracting inspiration from a painting on the wall.
But the marinated chicken needs to be baked, the Swiss chard cooked and seasoned, the laundry – loaded in the morning before work – must head into the dryer, then a run to the gas station since I’m at 1/8 of a tank, hit the bank’s drive through for yet another necessary withdrawal, then drive to the library of another town to teach my class.
Tonight, later tonight, I promise myself, I will pour a glass of white, then write at least one page (or for half an hour), just to get some lines in, watch this story move along, vibrant and poignant, the way I feel it in my heart.
But I just pour a glass of white.
Tired, bone-tired, not young, though somewhat in denial. The series I’ve been watching on Italian television beckons to me, with all its juicy drama, delicious suspense, and stunningly attractive male leads. So easy to just turn on the dishwasher, then shower, get into cozy pajamas, and surrender to the devious call of the sofa. You deserve to rest, it whispers, the hell with a novel that will never be published anyway.
So sadly realistic.
The guilt will keep me up at night, all sorts of unpleasant appellations will bombard me – loser, quitter, inept, untalented mouse pusher, delusional dreamer. My frustration will tear up every positive vibe I had forced myself to follow, I will shrink into my insignificant world, and try not to cry. Because I don’t cry, people. I have learned to rearrange my emotions, and steel my nerves. Weakness breaks you till you can no longer function.
Thus, I turn on the computer, take a deep breath, promise myself gummy candy (and a generous shot of brandy) for my TV time, reread five or six pages of whatever I wrote before, fall deeply in love with it again, pat myself on the back, and push on.
Like the great Ernest said, I press enter, and just start bleeding.
How you write a novel when you have a real life, an ordinary life.
Dreaming of the day you can write The End.