This week I finished writing a 2400 word short story called The Other Me. It’s a dark first-person tale with a sharp, sarcastic narrator. I think it is pretty good, but it’s also the last piece about depression and/or suicide I want to write for a long time. I spent a lot of 2011 down that particular hole.
Shockingly, it is the longest new story I have completed since December 2010, but also one of the most personal, which made it particularly difficult to finish. I think there was a part of me that didn’t want to call time on it.
It reminds me of the anecdote Stephen King likes to tell about Pet Sematary – how he found that novel so upsettling to write that he threw the manuscript in a drawer, where he thought it may stay forever. I’m not sure how much of that is true – I guess only he knows that for sure – but I understand his point. Some things you just write for yourself. Perhaps – like King – I just need a little distance from the words, and then I will be ready to send it off.
So… time to write some comedy.