The Book I Don’t Want To Write

Tonight I went to the gym with my husband. This was disastrous for a few reasons:

  • I got the mother of all nosebleeds while we sat at a traffic light down the street from our house and spent the first ten minutes of my workout time in the parking lot trying to staunch the blood with a towel we found in the back seat;
  • By the time I actually got up to the 3rd floor track, I felt like I’d run – and this is just an estimate – 385 miles, and I didn’t want to do anything other than curl up on the couch with a huge bowl of ice cream and watch Arrested Development until I fell asleep;
  • But I decided to walk for a little while anyway, which backfired because: A) I worked out yesterday and my thigh muscles are still angry about it and B) Apparently my imagination has been trained a little too well, because whenever I get too much alone time, I start to worry in very creative ways. So;
  • After about five minutes of walking, I had imagined all sorts of horrible scenarios involving every possible illness, tragedy, and bereavement that could ever befall my family and – wait for it – I STARTED CRYING AS I WALKED AROUND THE TRACK.
  • Ugly crying. The kind where your mouth pulls down at the corners and makes your whole face contort in grotesque ways. Which resulted in:
  • Most of my workout time was actually spent in the bathroom, crying my eyes out like a high school girl on a bad prom date.

Everything’s okay now though, because my husband made me dinner when we got home. And then he put Arrested Development on. After he made me tell him why I was crying, though, which made me cry even more. But then I felt way better afterwards.

(In a related story, pregnancy has made me a complete nutjob.)

SO.

For all three of you who are still reading, here’s the actual point of this post: All that worrying I did on the track? Gave me a FREAKING AWESOME idea for a book.

The only problem is, I do NOT want to write it.

The story I came up with during my cry-fest at the gym is so moving – so emotional and touching – that I just can’t face actually writing it.

It’s sad, y’all. I mean, it is like The Time Traveler’s Wife sad. No, worse than that – it’s The Lovely Bones sad. It’s such a tragic idea, I would have to just take one week – one tear-soaked, go-through-ten-boxes-of-Kleenex week – and write the whole thing in one go. Otherwise I would be too depressed for too long and things would just spiral downhill.

Has this ever happened to you? Ever thought of a story that you know a lot of people would want to read, but that you’re not sure you could actually write?

Also – don’t forget to check out the AKA Flash Fiction Contest I’m co-hosting all month!

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10 thoughts on “The Book I Don’t Want To Write

  1. Suzi McGowen says:

    Oh my gosh! You’re me! Only younger, with more talent, and more nosebleeds!

    I didn’t start my world class worrying, and imagining of horrible situations (mostly themed on “how would I save the baby if..” or “what would happen to the baby if..”) until I was pregnant.

    I had to stop watching the news because one night they talked about a train that derailed in an alligator infested swamp, and I spent hours worrying how I would save the baby if we were on a train that derailed at night in an alligator infested swamp. I cried for at least 15 minutes.

    This despite the fact I live in California (where we have very few alligators, and most of them are in zoos), I have never been on an overnight train ride, and no intention of ever doing so. And I certainly wouldn’t be taking a train through an alligator infested swamp. (Especially after that news story!)

    It does get better, I promise. My son is now 16, and I only imagine horrible things once a week now. (Themed on “What would happen to my son if…”).

    And yes, there were two stories that I thought of, that I couldn’t face writing. I’m not sure I ever would be able to write them, but I’m keeping them around, just in case.

  2. Léna Roy says:

    You are adorable, funny, delicious! I set out to write a fantasy and it turns into intense realistic fiction (that’s being published! Woot!) and then for my follow up, I start to write a satire, only it turns into a sob-fest. What I want to write doesn’t turn out to be what wants to be written. *BUT* the sob-fest didn’t turn out so well according to my editor, so hopefully now that I’ve gotten that version out of my system, I can try my hand at the satire again. Does this count as answering your query to the world-at-large?

  3. Dawn Embers says:

    Interesting. I haven’t had an idea myself that I didn’t want to write. My mom has a novel idea that she’d like to see made into a novel, but she’s not a writer. I’d like to write it for her but at the same time I don’t. It’s not my type of story, not even something I read. The idea is regular, male/female, romance with an extended time frame (starts in high school and ends in retirement age). So, not sure how this will go or if it will ever happen. But it’s kinda like what you were talking about in the post. Kinda.

  4. Lilah Pierce says:

    I know EXACTLY what you mean!!!! I’ve had this happen, too!!!! Except, I didn’t have the option to blame it on pregnancy. My cryfest-inspired-story was the result of my natural nuttiness. And I thought the same thing about not being able to write it bc its so deep that it would make me depressed for WAY too long!

  5. DL Hammons says:

    I feel for your husband…not being able to do much beside provide comfort and support. During emotional times like that I find solace in logic, but dealing with irrational fears don’t respond well to that sort of approach. 🙂

    But speaking of a book I wouldn’t want to write, I’ve actually blogged about that before here. The subject matter scares me…and I feel its beyond my abilities right now. But deep down I know that someday I probably will write that story. You will too!

  6. Jess Tudor says:

    I’ve made two readers cry with 20p of first draft on my new WIP. Me personally, I don’t get like that, though I know when we finally have kids I’ll be a weepy preggo mess, but in GENERAL, no. So the story is really sad and maybe if I were preggo right now it would be too emotional to write, but my normal MO is fine.

  7. Anne Riley says:

    Suzi: You crack me up! It’s definitely a mom thing… and my husband does it too, only not as randomly and with far less visible emotion. I’m so glad to hear it gets a *little* better later on…

    Lena: Yes, it definitely counts! And that is really funny. I’ve had characters do unexpected things, but I’ve never had an entire book switch genres on me. That must be a little disconcerting. And hooray on your impending publication!

    Dawn: That’s interesting that your mom wants to see such a specific novel written. I bet there’s one out there just like that, don’t you think?

  8. Anne Riley says:

    Lilah: Yes! I keep imagining scenes that would go into this book, and then I think, “Oh my gosh I could never ever think about that for longer than 5 seconds.” And I’m pretty sure it would take longer than 5 seconds to write the book, so… I’m at a loss.

    DL: Um, yeah. My poor husband. And how bout this: Let’s make a pact to BOTH write this book one day!

    Jess: Quick, write it while you can! Haha 🙂

  9. HeatherM says:

    You poor thing! I feel horrible saying this, but the first 2/3rds of this post made me laugh so hard! Thank you. I really needed that after the horrible Friday the 13th I had. As for the last part of your post, it sounds like you had an amazing idea. As hard as it might be, maybe you should write it!

  10. Anne Riley says:

    Heather: Don’t feel bad about laughing! I wrote it in a funny way, so I’m glad it worked! And yeah, I know, I need to write it. Gah.

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