“So, is this the year you write your novel?” the clerk asks.
I unfold my cash and hand it over to her. “Yes.”
I feel my answer is terse, a little unfriendly. She’s just making small talk. An innocent comment about the book I’m buying — Walter Mosley’s This Year You Write Your Novel.
The clerk talks about how she’s tried to write a novel, and has decided to put off writing a novel. Instead, she’s going to start small. Write some articles. Start a blog.
I know why I’m terse. It goes beyond my innate shyness. When she asks me whether I plan to write a novel, I want to blurt, I have a blog, I write articles. I’ve written a novel. I’ve written three. But the last one . . . that manuscript sits gathering dust on my hard drive. I’ve given up, lost interest in mid revision.
“A frustrated English major?” the clerk asks. She sticks my receipt under the bright orange book cover.
But, I’m more than a frustrated English major. Or I hope I am. That’s why I bought yet another book on writing. I have another idea for a novel. Or a story. Or a few pages. Or something. And I hope Mosley’s book will in some way keep me motivated enough to write more than a few paragraphs. To write a draft of something. Not get discouraged and give up, because I don’t want to be a frustrated English major.