But when I scroll through the pieces I have drafted or in revision: there isn't a theme. None of it hangs together.
I wrote something about this to my editor (who I hope doesn't mind I call her "my editor" when I'm such a wannabe published author - minus the extreme hassle landing any publication will be) - anyway. I wrote something about how I don't have a clear vision for a whole collection and she wrote back the encouragement that I take my writing one piece at a time.
So maybe I quit fantasizing about a collection for awhile. Maybe I just get really good at revision. Maybe I quit thinking I've got it in me to put together a work anyone would read. My words might fall flat in print. I think about that.
So why do I keep on putting pen to paper? Why do I type the shit in my head and call it a personal essay? Why do I ask what any character wants?
The process should be enough. For years, I said it was. The process is less and less enough anymore. The process is an effort I enjoy, but with an end I'm hungry for: I want a dialogue with readers.
I don't think I'll get that for a long time yet. I'll keep writing. But lately I've felt really stupid for chasing this. Really, really stupid. Words matter. But if mine don't, and at the end of my life I learn I would have been as well off watching three hours of television a day instead of showing up at the page: God help me.