The Things We Write For the Trunk in the Basement

I got 750 words in before work this morning, and fell headlong into the kind of short story that I need to write, but which I would have to think long and hard about publishing. It’s probably not the kind of story that does great things for family dynamics. One more thing for my poor, unfortunate survivors to find in a trunk under my bed. Remind me to marry a man I genuinely hate, so I won’t feel bad about all the paperwork I’m leaving for him.

As it turns out, most of my family wouldn’t make half bad characters in an episodic, comedic memoir.

They would hate it.

Lately, I seem to be doing a lot of thinking about what’s worth writing, versus what’s worth publishing.

And tied up with that… goals, and what the hell exactly do you do with a story which feels as much like shit-stirring as it feels like literature?

The good news is that the markets for the high-end, literary, political, memoir-y stuff that could get me into the most trouble happen to be markets that really don’t pay all that much. (Or anything.) I can’t afford to write for them.

And to be fair, I have trouble tracking them down, anyway.

It does make you stop and think… what is the point of writing something–of spending the time and energy finding places to send it–when all it’s going to do is irritate people (relatives), and not pay for the privilege?

I am writing it, anyway. Maybe, someday it will matter. And someday, the stakes will definitely go down. I may even manage to come up with some impenetrable pseudonym that will allow me to make it all worthwhile. Or, maybe I just need to write it, and the publishing doesn’t matter.

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