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I was 100% hearing him, between the lines: He was 95 years old, suffering from dementia, he wasn’t ever going to write a book, and it was easier for him to make it all my fault for not believing in him enough vs.
blaming time and fear and old age and never getting started in the first place.
I had a pretty devastating argument with my grandfather about this not long before he died.
He wanted to tell me about a book he wanted to write and get my opinion on whether it was good.
Those five little words: “were cruelly & obstinately fucking with his idea of himself as an already-published author. I can care about your writing project but I can’t do your caring about it for you. It satisfies the creative urge without having to do actual work!
I’m not immune: I can enthusiastically pitch shit I’m never going to actually write all the livelong day. We get immediate feedback and that little ping of having created something! A writer friend took me to lunch earlier this week and yelled at me for an hour about this book project I’m overthinking into the ground and I started telling her about my process and things I was developing and progress I’d made and she looked at me with all the love in the world and said “But you see until it is written down in an actual book proposal and query letter, it is not real, so what will it take for you to get out of your own way and write it down and then send it out the door?
Shawn might say “” in an attempt to get you to reassure them and say that it’s okay. Part of setting boundaries with others is setting boundaries with ourselves, i.e.None of what you’d be saying is mean, rude, unreasonable, or untrue. Letter Writer, you sound like a really considerate friend and a cool writer, and I hope you can find a writers’ group or writing buddy who is going to be as thoughtful and invested about your work as you are in theirs. If you don’t already follow the lovely Story Hospital, I recommend their work most highly.