Writer's Regret

I sit and write.

Time flies and I can’t bare the sense that I’ve gotten nowhere. Close the laptop and move on to the next day.

Morning, I slug off my bed, do the usual meaningless life routines before I land facing this laptop, again. And I sit, and I wait there, and I stare, and I read right before I write, and delete, and write, and delete. Another day ends, my word count is less than it was yesterday, I feel less confident in the story because of the flaws found while reading, I can’t think of repairs for my hopeful masterpiece.

The laptop closes and I move onto the next day. Again, I do the meaningless routines of daily life, speak to people I hate, wander the streets in hopes of inspiration. I light my surroundings ablaze and beg the flame for inspiration. Perhaps it’ll jog something in my memory. I land in front of the laptop and the fumes do their job well, not the one I anticipated, but, you know, clouding things up. Now I can’t focus, but I’ve committed to the writing time and I plan to sit here and write until I’ve completed my commitment, regardless of whether or not something useful, pointless or anything at all lands on the page.

This cycle of aimless wandering goes on for days before they mutate into weeks and evolve into months. Nine to be exact. Nine months of this torturous aimless, uncertain wander through life, through the words, through the pages. Somewhere down the line I turned the word count off until I was confident the story was told. I finally turn it back on and discover the word count is twice the intended goal.

A rush of energy and adrenaline surges through me, but briefly, as I become aware that this whole nine month period was the fun part. I’m done creating. The child needs to go take his nap and the adult needs to clean up the mess. Organize the chaos for it to make sense.

Does the story make sense?

Is there information in there that is useless and can be removed?

Are there parts of this story still missing which need to be included?

The child wouldn’t notice these details, he’s too busy and obsessed making his clay castle of crap. The adult is always screwed with the cleanup, but it turns into a must when the first draft is read and I’m filled with regret and shame. The thought of “this was a mistake” remains in my mind. Of “What the hell was I thinking? Why do I believe I can write if I suck?” But I stick to it, because the adult is always depressed. There is no happy moment. The adult doesn’t get to create, fixing to destroy and to repair is all the adult is allowed. Always watching, protecting, and nurturing the child’s ideas and mistakes.

The adult’s job is to make the child understand how to create better the next time. To teach and learn.

Somewhere in the deep confines of my mind rests the child in wait for his next project. He’ll be refueling on random shit to stick together to call a masterpiece.

Meanwhile, not in control of the thought process, the adult sinks into a dark misty fuzz of depression. The writer’s regret. The completion of the writer’s baby is done, this thing will be out in the wild soon and there is no stopping it. There’s no keeping confined something that has been brought into the universe. It’ll see light and I’ll move on, do it all over, hate it and love it all again.

I call it, being a Writer.


By Jack Thomas