My writing is incredibly secretive. Most likely the same is true for the bulk of unpublished novelists, living with the constant and possibly well-founded fear of talentlessness.
For me though, it is the actual story line that keeps me in perpetual lockdown. I write when my husband is working late, at two in the morning when I can’t sleep, in those twenty minutes our five year old has occupied himself and I can steal away to the corner of the kitchen, undisturbed.
This novel has become in essence, an extramarital affair – an irony, given that the plot centers around an extramarital affair.
I feel pretty bad about this. My husband is beyond supportive of this endeavor. He asks questions, cheers me on, and makes sure I know that he inherently believe my goal of publishing a manuscript is worthy of the time spent. He clearly deserves the benefit of my trust as I am receiving the benefit of his faith.
Here’s the thing: it is all I can do to spit my story out for the universe, because I am terrified that my husband will see this tale as a secret wish, an unspoken complaint, or in anyway reflective of my feelings on our marriage. So, so far from the truth but it leaves me frozen with dread. It is just a story in the end, but one that could break my husband’s heart if read in the wrong state of mind.
It’s true that there are many elements of our life woven into these 6000 words (and growing every day!). Virtually all of the commitment, passion and even turmoil from years long past stem from my nineteen years of loving this man. In so many ways we embody my characters, because we are the most important story I will never have to share – but that story belongs to me! The story that I’m writing now may be inspired in so many ways, but it is ultimately and exclusively born of my imagination. Yet each time I think of a fantastic new plot twist, or a way to deepen and develop my heroine, my fingers take pause and my gut wrenches. I just know when writing a really juicy part, I look like a criminal just about to strike.
Does anyone else have this problem, or am I just a weirdo?
2 thoughts on “Censorship, or “How to honor your story and stay married!””
When you are writing, your mind draws from all of your experiences. Perhaps there is part of you that wants to explore, in a theoretical sense, what it would be like to have an affair. 19 years is a long time. Perhaps part of you sort of feels like you’re “missing out” on something, and this novel is your way of getting it out of your system.
A novel is a dream, crafted while awake; and we’re not expected to be able to control our dreams, are we? It is a way to work through issues, etc., in your mind, in a more healthy way than actually, as a random example, having an affair.
More likely, your novel is coming out of a prior relationship, and you are dealing with unresolved issues, not necessarily from cheating or being cheated on, but yearning to get out of something you felt trapped in.
And no, it’s not just you. 🙂
Ha! A fair point to make ~ and thank you for the compassion. 🙂