I think every writer who’s not completely emotionally dead inside (so um…Santa?) has one story that they’ve always wanted to write but somehow can’t. Maybe it’s the story of the wreckage of a love, or a family member’s destruction. Something painful and intimate that for whatever reason cannot be touched yet. Blah blah blah cry me a river it’s so hard to be a human being let’s all watch Girls and relate to the Twitter references.
I’m working on a story right now that’s impossible to write. But, um: THIS SHOULD NOT BE MY IMPOSSIBLE STORY. It’s not at all autobiographical (there are autobiographical elements from your life, actually, because I watch through your window every night, sharpening the teeth of a small but deadly kitten). It’s a creepy story about siblings, which is pretty much my forte. And I have been working on it since a little epoch I like to call the year 2011. Even worse, this is my fourth version. Not my fourth draft. My fourth VERSION. I have deleted the creepily aggressive neighbor who falls into the pool and dies. And I have changed some adjectives.
What is it about this story that is so impossible for me to write? I keep trying to psychoanalyze my way out of this one but maybe it’s just a flawed story. Have I tried to pack too much emotional despair into one character? Should I take out the killer clown, the bride of Frankenstein, and the DUDE THAT TALKS WAY TOO LOUDLY ON HIS CELL PHONE IN THIS COFFEE SHOP (I see you, cell phone dude, and I want to do unspeakable things to your phone)? The problem is–I think it’s a really great concept, insofar as I’m allowed to say that I’ve come up with a “great concept” without sounding like an “arrogant jerk.” Maybe I should make a moodboard. IS THAT WHAT THIS STORY NEEDS? ITS OWN PINTEREST BOARD?
It’s not writer’s block, it’s writer’s WTF. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Am I merely placing a clammy finger on the dying pulse of an art form ahead of everyone else? (THAT WAS A JOKE BUT IT KIND OF FELT REAL, HUH?)