Stuck in Love is one of my favorite movies. It’s not particularly impressive as far as cinema goes but its about a family of writers, love, heartbreak and family–a fatal equation for me. In this movie, the dad tells his son about something Flannery O’Connor once said. He says “Flannery O’Connor said nothing needed to happen in a writer’s life after they were 20. By then they’d experienced more than enough to last their creative life.”
This scene terrifies me every time because while I am still living and documenting my life, I fear that when the time comes I won’t be able to draw on the experiences I so deeply want to share. This evening I was riffling through some old “journal” documents and stumbled upon a post that, I think, was meant to be a start to what would perhaps one day become my memoir (let’s note my 100% intentional vague verbiage).
While reading it, I texted my boyfriend, a musician. I asked if he ever writes a lyric or song that he thinks is great, beautiful even, and is then disappointed by everything that follows. That was how I felt when I stumbled upon this journal. I had forgotten about this story attempt and desperately want to pick up where I left off but just can’t find the right words–right now.
Here’s a small excerpt of the original piece I put together back in September. I ended up writing about 100 words of a new section tonight, which is underwhelming but I’m going to count it as a step in the right direction.
“I felt transformed by the darkness. Lying on the carpet floor beside him, drunk off cheap beer and gas station liquor, we moved tactfully. So tactfully that we both knew, in our own way, the alcohol had nothing to do with it. We shifted slightly towards each other, each taking our turn. Like pawns in a game of chess we slowly came together. He kissed me and I felt all the tension leave my body. Despite everything, in the moment it always felt like where I was meant to be.”
Have you ever experienced difficulty writing about a certain topic or during a certain period of your life? Please share.