This latest deadline is really weighing on me. I have to force the pages out—and then, once out, I’m afraid to look at them again. I’ve never had this much trouble with a project before.

I’m thinking it’s not really about this project at all, is it? It’s about what comes after the project. It’s about my real life that I haven’t had time to think so much about because I’ve been so busy doing these projects. My god, when I sit down and think about it, just for those few minutes I allow myself, it starts to sink in—how I’ve effectively given up and how mad at myself I am, and ashamed, and lost, just completely lost. And if I think about it too long I can barely breathe. That’s why the deadlines. That’s why this new job. It’s easier not to think. This is why we have TV.

It’s easier to hide behind meaningless deadlines than face up to the fact that I don’t like where my life is at the moment—place, time, writing, mostly the writing—and I have no idea what to do about it. I also want to help E reach his own happiness and I have no idea how to do that, either.

For the past few nights, in those minutes in the dark bedroom when I am falling asleep and my brain is cascading through the random anxieties of the day, when I am trying desperately not to think so I can just fall asleep, I get this sense of something on me. A very physical weight. It feels like it’s over my chest, sitting there, bearing down. I don’t know how else to describe it. Just this heaviness. And along with it are the ideas I’ve been neglecting, the novel I reimagined and restarted and then abandoned on the side of the road. They come to me, and just sit there, breathing on me. It’s been taking me a very long time to fall asleep.

But back to reality. I am on page 72 of the project, by the way. It feels like it will never be over, though I know it will be soon. Depending on what sort of mood I’m in, it’s either too soon or not soon enough.


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