Admit the following things to yourself, self.
You are not sure if your skill meets up with your vision. The story is better in your head. The pictures in your head, so much better. When you try, and you cannot say that you haven’t been trying, the words that dribble out just don’t have that sparkle. Where have you put your sparkles? You are not your day job. You are not your debt. You are not your rejection letter sitting on the kitchen counter torn open but not yet discarded because what’s the point anyway. You are not Chuck Palahniuk either, so stop it.
And then this meeting coming up in December, someone wants to meet you—this has not happened before. This is to get advice on the novel manuscript, which is not ready, she said so, and you agree, and also on the story collection, about what it could be, and whatever discussion you will have will help you move forward. You’re grateful. Also nervous. How to explain there are better things in you, you’ve just let the smog get in the way?
Spending the month counting words is odd. Counting all the words in total makes them seem substantial. Counting the words you actually like would make you ashamed, so you know what, don’t do that.
Sometimes hard work does not pay off.
But you could always work harder.
Not everyone will find success.
But you never know if you will, so best to keep trying.
You’d rather vanish off the face of the earth than keep doing what you’re doing. It’s not bad; it’s just not right. As you get older, you see no point in doing what’s not right. Your past mistakes keep you treading water. You are not drowning. Can’t you smile, seeing as you’re not drowning?
Time for a flashback.
Remember Mom? Remember the man who was more Dad than Dad? Remember their misery? Seeing their traps? Thinking if that’s what being a grown-up is I never want to grow up? And you are grown up now—you couldn’t stop it—and now you know.
Mom is happy now. She proved that it is never too late to change your life.
Dad who is not Dad, who knows where he is, but it could be argued that he did the same.
So stand up. WRITE SOMETHING GOOD THIS TIME.
And stop talking to yourself. It distracts me.