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not everything that is helpful is useful
this is an extract from an email sent to the Everything List (which is the place where i share ‘everything’ including behind the scenes reporting on writing, pictures of my lunch, how writing is like sobriety, and samples of the new fiction project).
from me: i’ve written myself into a corner with the fiction. i’ve closed the open loops and don’t know what happens next. (this happens.)
but that has led me to “what’s the point in writing fiction anyway,” – and i don’t mean the thing i’m writing, i mean fiction in general. what’s the point of fiction? …
i’m temporarily stuck. i feel like non-fiction is more direct. “how do i deal with a husband who drinks now that i’m sober” versus “here’s a story about a woman with a husband.” maybe the lessons are still there, but maybe the vehicle of delivery is all that changes.
but if the lessons are the same, then why fiction?
i’m sure i’ll be able to write myself back to an answer to this, but today, right here and right now, i’ve lost the plot (hahahahaha). [and if writing is like being sober, then even when you lose the plot, you keep going, because – even as i say it here – i’m sure i’ll be able to find the way if i keep going.]
Quote from this week’s fiction writing:
OK, you’re up. The room – you can’t even look at the room. The hallway – you can’t even look at the hallway, the bookshelf contents on the floor, now walked through repeatedly, how long has it been. Into the kitchen, can’t really look in here, either, something in the pan on the stove, it could have been risotto (really?). You pick up and hold the takeout container close to your face, smell it, afraid, but seems fresh enough, so it probably was dinner last night after all.
It’s weird day when I wake up and it feels like I’m on an archaeological exploration in my own home. What did I do? What did I eat?
You check your phone for sent messages. Scroll …
Mich2point0 sent me this: “That’s just wolfie’S cousin- self doubt creeping in. She’s a c-nt… kick her ass to the curb Xxoo.”
me: haha. maybe it is! it’s just that after doing a big live call yesterday, THAT seems more ‘useful’ than fiction…
Mich2: “Lmfao!!!!! Not everything that is helpful is useful. Sometimes. I get fucking tired of self help and all that jazz. Sometimes. I want to disappear into a good book or listen to something fun or funny. Relatable. You don’t determine what’s useful. That’s a high powers job. You. Just do what you’ve been called to do…”