There’s this guy I met a couple of weeks back, and he seems really funny and cool and so interested in me. I honestly thought we were on the same page. In fact, we’ve “gone out” a couple of times (mainly to a fast-food place, because it’s the only thing open at 4 a.m.), and the conversations through SMS and chat (despite the fact that he’s just an arm’s throw away) have been warm, romantic, and intimate, I must say.
But the last two weeks, I’ve been getting a 404, which I initially dismissed as just a grumpy middle-age guy having those moments because of a recent operation.I mean, really, Greg, when you’re in so much pain, how can you think about romance? He tells me he’s just in so much pain, so he can’t text me back or go out for a walk, which I believed for some time.
And then a good friend at work thought she had to intervene because I was starting to fall, and she gave me your book, He’s Just Not That into You. I heard about this book years ago but never bought a copy because I didn’t want a complete stranger giving me advice about a guy I know very well. Hello? I get all that from my friends. Why would I want to know what you think?
I read the book in just one day. It was funny and wicked and enlightening, and you really had me there, Greg. You’re right. He just wants something else. He’s not a bit interested in the book I’m writing. He doesn’t seem to want to get to know me more. I really thought we connected, but then, it was just as well. I was starting to get distracted, and I can’t afford that. Not when I’m writing a book.
So thanks, Greg. You were a lot of help. But I’m still looking for a way to prove you wrong. He can’t be not that into me!
I’ve come to realize that I cannot write and be in a romantic relationship at the same time. The energies that I use for writing are about as intense as those I exert when I am madly, passionately in love with someone.
I never believed it, and I’ve been in denial for the majority of my adult writing life, but it’s true. When I look back at the years before, I was either happily writing singly or happily involved but on a dry writing spell (but productive elsewhere). I can’t seem to handle both–me whom I consider to have superior multitasking skills.
I mean, really, should you even ask what one should choose between spending a night of romance or staying up all night writing a chapter? Never mind being broke. I’d choose the former. Which is why I’m usually in love and broke or single but earning well. You know what they say: You can’t have everything.
So maybe I should thank my stars that this recent affair has ended and I can happily go back to writing after exorcising the demons of a recent past. Four months more to go, and five chapters to complete. I can do it! (Yes! That’s the spirit!)
Writing isn’t a fun process. It is laborious. It feels like giving birth (and I know the feeling). The thought of writing may seem like a piece of cake, but the act isn’t. And the idea of a looming deadline doesn’t make it any easier.
So here’s the plan to get things done in the next five months:
1. Send the child to the grandparents for the summer. Thankfully, it was my little boy’s last day in first grade today, and he is so excited about vacation that I am just so happy to ship him south in a balikbayan box. Not that I want to get rid of him, but I simply cannot write and play mommy at the same time.
2. Take it one chapter at a time. My writing/editing “associate” is doing the work for one chapter, while I will do the final rewrite and edit. That should lessen the burden on me.
3. Prepare the tools of the trade. Last Sunday, I finally picked up the recorder and noted how it has morphed into something else in the last three months that I did not touch it. My sister was able to break open the battery holder, and despite fear of a leaking battery, she was able to dislodge the AA battery that was stuck inside and growing moss (no, really).
4. Send off questions and wait. No, really, because I am in Manila and can only do so much, while my resource people are in various parts of the world.
5. Have faith. Because writing is an act of faith. You got to believe you’ll get done. Or you won’t get paid. So help me God.