confessions / distractions / novels / voices in my head / writing

The Novel of Your Wildest Dreams

What would you write about if you could write anything in the universe? What secret thing grips your heart and won’t let go, no matter what anyone else says about it? What would you put down on paper if you just had permission? From your family, from your friends and ex-friends and enemies, from interesting strangers, from the world outside, from the world in your head, from yourself? If you had the skill? If you had the language? The plan? All the time in the world?

You don’t have to tell me… I’m working on my own answers as we speak.

Sometimes, like last night, I’m squeezed in between two elbows on the subway, avoiding the wet spot on the seat, counting the blocks till my station, and I think: Something could fly across this train and chop off my head. Or I’m stepping out on the crosswalk and I think: That bus could have just crushed me. Or I imagine our building turning to rubble. Or food poisoning from my peanut butter at lunch. Or my heart simply giving out. And I think of all the things I would leave behind from this life: stuff, stuff to be thrown away. And the novel in there? The one I could be proud of if I could just get it out? I’d take it with me.

I want to write it first. I’d like E to read it—I love how he looks at me when he reads something of mine he really likes. And you?

7 thoughts on “The Novel of Your Wildest Dreams

  1. “What would you write about if you could write anything in the universe?”

    i tried that, and look what happened—lousy agent, rejections galore, much depression…

    but to me, this goes to why we write: shouldn’t we always be writing what we want to more than anything else in the universe?

  2. I think this post…possibly…nudged me to going to a coffee shop and working on my novel for the afternoon, instead of going to the movies. Possibly.

  3. Me too, I’m working on the novel of my wildest dreams right now and it is scary – how long it’s taking, my fears that nobody else is going to like this except me, that I’ve gone insane and don’t realise and am writing the equivilent of “pants” 100,000 times, that I’m living a decadent dream and ought to feel guilty for that, etc etc. But I can relate so much to what you said about dying and that novel staying unwritten (or in crappity-crap state on my hard disc, as it is now) and that is even scarier. So. Have. To. Get. These. Words. Down. Your post has inspired me so much. I think I need to print this out and stick it on my computer screen!!

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