I’ve been stuck reworking the first few chapters of TBSOL for over a year. It was a half-hearted effort. I felt drained. I felt tired. I felt stressed and weighted down by the knowledge that people are waiting.

The last time I let K read anything I’d written was months ago and she said, “I don’t like it, I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re doing.”

Nothing was coming together. The flow of the story was wrong, the characters were wrong, and every time I tried to write, all I felt was rage.

This week, the rage went away. I don’t know why. It just went away.

For the past few days I’ve been writing the way I used to write when I was younger, back when it was just me and a keyboard, sitting at my grandparents’ house in Puerto Rico, typing away and not giving a crap.

I couldn’t remember what it felt like to start writing and not want to stop. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to write this novel without a thousand voices in my head telling me which way to go.

I don’t know how long this feeling will last, nor what will come from it. I don’t know if this is a new version, or an old version, or an edited version. I don’t even care anymore, honestly. All I know is that last night was the first time in our twelve-year relationship that I handed K pages of TBSOL to read and didn’t wonder at all whether or not she would like them.

I knew she would.

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2 comments… add one
  • Elba Karina

    Que gusto me da saber que agarraste un “segundo aire” para escribir TBSOL como solías hacerlo en un inicio, sin la presión que como autora te has de auto-imponer y la que los lectores desesperados sin querer ponemos en ti (aunque finalmente es tu culpa por traer a nuestras vidas un universo y unos personajes tan fáciles de amar jaja Sorry Not Sorry).

    Sea como sea, espero que esta nueva inspiración dure lo suficiente para liberar esas partes que están atoradas y que aun no ven la luz fuera de tu ingeniosa mente.

    Por mi parte, puedo decirte que deseo que tomes varias buenas tazas de café por gusto y no por necesidad, acaricies a Poe un poco y luego dejes fluir las ideas que vengan a ti sin presión, que por lo menos Yo (y quiero pensar que la mayoría de los que seguimos tu trabajo) seguiremos aquí con los brazos abiertos para TBSOL.

    Recibe una gran Saludo desde México y felicidades por tu boda! :D
    ahh y se me olvidaba decirte que me encanto ‘Alix y Valerie’ hay unas frases barbaras que llegaron bien cañón. Hermoso Trabajo.

  • Mary

    Dear Ingrid Diaz: You are part of an intrepid generation of young artists willing to put their creative process out there in the open and listen/respond to unsolicited feedback from a viewing/reading public of (at best) amorphous character and dubious qualifications. The bottom line, though, is that you’re the maker, and most of us who read you are anything but literary editors. We can’t give you–in return for the gift of your story-telling–something of equivalent value: a proper critique designed to nurture (rather than disperse) your creative drive. We can’t offer you a fellow-author’s perspective on your process. TBSOL in all its versions really is a lovely story, but it also has been your laboratory for exploring this new kind of “online authorship.” (OK, and pretext to drink more coffee). It sure sounds like the rage you’ve been feeling is from that sense of obligation (imposed by the false intimacy of internet chat) “to give a crap.” But really, you don’t owe us readers anything.

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