Getting stuck in
According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, stuck means:
“unable to move, or fixed in a particular position, place or way of thinking”
“in a difficult situation, or unable to change or get away from a situation”
“not able to continue reading, answering questions, etc. because something is too difficult”
I’m been feeling stuck with the current piece I’m working on it. It’s my first creative non-fiction piece. I’m been trying a different process this time – researching and freewriting about anything that comes out of the reading.
Actually, it’s probably not that different of a process. I often read or research as I write, but I suppose the difference is that I immediately translate that reading into fiction, into a more imaginative and creative space. This time I find my freewriting is much more reflective – very much I read this, and it makes me think this, and maybe I could write something about that.
I feel like I’m always skirting around something, getting close to what I’d actually want to write, but never actually writing it. It’s like I’m touching it through a layer of something else, sometimes the fabric of that in-between so sheer that I can feel the form, feel the potential of what the piece (or parts of it at least) can be, but I stop myself from tearing into it.
The genre is probably making a difference – and also the fact that it’s not only non-fiction, but based on something in my family’s history. While I’ve fought – and continue to fight battles – with the real-life (or perceived real-life) influences on my fiction, I’m much more concerned about how what I say will be interpreted in this piece than with anything else I’ve written. I keep questioning my direction, my motivation, my ability. Will what I’m going to write hurt anyone? How much of myself – of my journey with this subject, my process writing about this subject – do I put in? Is it the truth? Do I have any right to make public something that has been kept very private?
It probably all comes down to one key question: Do I have any right to write about this?
And in spite of all my doubts, the answer to that last question has to be yes.
Because how else can I write it?
It’s time to get myself unstuck – or to at least embrace a different definition. When I was looking up the definition of stuck, something else came up – stuck as he past tense and past participle of stick:
“Push a sharp or pointed object into or through (something)” (Oxford Dictionaries)
Yes. It’s time to find a way inside the story, to find a way into and through it.