I’ve been thinking about blogging for a long time, and I see that it’s been over a year since I last made an entry here, which is no big surprise. I’ve also been thinking about discipline, and the many ways in which I lack it. I’ve been good about writing on weekends, and my current project is coming along fairly well.
And recently I met uncouthheathen, who writes regularly in her blog and just knowing her makes me want to write more.
So I’m wondering if blogging will help me return to a semi-daily writing regimen. I’ve found that this is a good place to write about process. I’ve written about the process that’s going/went into several projects—mostly the June stories and, of course, Unplanted. But I’ve given up on those projects for now and have entered something new, something I’ve been destined to write for years.
And, truthfully, this is my most important project. That is, it is the project that means the most to me. I was told nearly eight years ago that I should write it.
I should clarify, as best I can (knowing that I will intentionally leave out certain details here):
About eight years ago, someone who was very, very dear to me, who I loved more than anyone and will continue to love, told me I should write a book about a woman whose boyfriend dies but continues to remain in her life, often in some very annoying ways. I more or less sluffed off the subject, thinking of it as just another idea. And at that time I was in grad school and had lots of writing projects swimming around in my head.
(This is the part where I intentionally leave out details. That’s a post for another time.)
Six or eight months ago, I started considering this project, and the more I considered it and spoke about it with people who are very close to me and my writing, I realized it was something I had to do. It became a sort of obligation to myself, to the person who first planted the idea in my head, to my writing.
So I set out to write and ran into block after block; I was completely unable to find the story’s entry point. (I like to write linearly.) I crawled around a pile of ideas and I journaled, but still nothing. It wasn’t coming out in the way it felt it should.
Then I found out about haibun.
I began to explore the form, and suddenly it made sense: Write this project as a series of haibun. So what will eventually be a book is becoming a collection of occasionally linked pieces that serve as moments, individual memories, or scenes or explorations of pathos.
The premise: a nonfiction work that explores grief, and, more importantly, the relationships the living have with the disembodied. This is the story of my relationship with, and love for, a man and how those things continue, how his presence fits in my life, how our relationship grows and changes, and how it always will.
And so the project is unfolding, bit by bit eeking itself out on weekends as I sit in my favorite coffee shop, Americano beside me, ear buds tuning out (most) ambient noise. Focused. Anxious to see what will come out next.