Monday, September 8, 2014

The Neighbors Don't Take Kindly To Him

I have a new essay up at Medium / Human Parts.

Before I link to it I should mention a few things.  Things like: I've had a rough writing year.  It's been difficult to get things down on the page for a long time.  I've strongly disliked most of what I did manage to write.  I haven't submitted anything in a long time.  I've felt blocked.  I've felt strange.

I kept trying to write one thing and it would turn into something else.  I kept trying to write another thing and it would come back to the first thing.  What I wanted to write was not what I was writing.  Things that in the past were easier for me became fraught.  Tenuous.

I generally make a point of writing about myself more than I write about others, and I particularly try to keep references to my family minimal. Let's be real: I've made exceptions to this rule when writing about exes, but even then I tried to keep the spotlight on myself as much as possible.

It's always scary to put writing out into the world and it's scarier when the subject matter feels fragile.  But that's what we do as writers, isn't it?  We write about the things that feel most fragile to us.

That old adage about it taking a village to raise a child - slash - write an essay is true.  This essay is out in the world because my friend Chloe Caldwell encouraged me to submit it, and my friend Yuvi Zalkow helped me revise it, and my parents helped me to feel like it was okay for me to tell this story, and my boyfriend offered me sweet and relentless support.

I don't know if there are any great answers to any of the questions this essay asks.  I don't know much of anything, really.  I'm happy this essay found a home.  I'm glad I get to be a writer even though it sometimes feels difficult in every possible way, from mental to emotional to financial and beyond.  And I'm lucky that for how difficult it sometimes seems, my life is incredibly easy.  I guess if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that for a lot of people life is anything but.

The Neighbors Don't Take Kindly To Him