On December 21st, I announced that I would no longer be working on my book. The decision came after continued frustration with being emotionally hung-up on my ex, one year after separating. The book I’ve been working on is based on my last relationship, and I blamed it for keeping her in my life, like an unwelcome ghost. In the announcement I said: “The main character of my book was a hard-hearted, bitter old man. I’m letting this book go to keep from becoming him.” The book would take me another year to complete, and I was unwilling to feed it any longer.
Now I realize the announcement was made in haste. Yes, when I came to the decision, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted. And yes, I am eager to get on with my life and begin new projects. However, when showing people my work they always encourage me to continue, and when looking back on the completed pages myself, I remember how far I’ve come.
So there are two questions I’ve been asking.
1) Does this book have more to teach me? — Yes, I believe it does.
2) Can the emotionally loaded subject be somehow quarantined and not bleed into my thoughts and emotions? — I dunno. Should it, even?
I make an effort to live mindfully, have healthy habits, and laugh daily. But is it so wrong for a little part of me to become a bitter, old hermit? Don’t all writers become their characters, at least temporarily? Isn’t that how authenticity is achieved?