Write It!

“I mean, it took me a long time. It would take me almost a year to write one short story. It took me a long time because I didn’t have the confidence, and because I didn’t have the time and the energy. But honestly, what drained my energy those years, more than my work, was the fucked-up emotional psychosexual dramas that I got involved with. If I could help myself at all in retrospect as a 43-year-old woman I would be like, “Get out of that guy’s car! Don’t move in with him! Don’t cheat on that guy! Don’t run away with this one! Don’t break up this marriage!” The stuff that I was doing was so hugely mentally invasive, and so physically and emotionally draining for me and whoever I dragged into that story. When I look back on those years, what feels miraculous to me is not that I was able to do any writing working as a bartender and a waitress—it’s that I was able to do any writing while I was making the stupidest, fucking personal decisions anybody has ever made. I feel like that, more than anything, is a tribute to how stubborn I was about wanting to be a writer, because so much of my life was really quite a mess. But I really wanted it. I wanted it so much that, despite myself, I managed to get work done.”

—Some inspiration for the beginning of NaNoWriMo, from Elizabeth Gilbert. Or, if you’re not engaged in the process of NaNoWriMo, for not moving in with that guy?

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