My road to Hell is going to be so pretty.

by Ash on December 2, 2011


How you doing? Kids treating you well? Weather not too cold?

Good, good.


About that whole NaNoWriMo thing. Well. Here’s the deal. I totally bagged on it.

I know, I know, but let me entertain you with the list of things I did get done in November:

1. Painted dining room Dark Granite. It looks fantastic.

2. Switched out all brass doorknobs to Venetian Bronze. Brought house into new Millennium.

3. Recovered the ’80s plaid curtains in kitchen nook. Husband debating naming his next child after me.

4. Mourned the passing of my Gran.

5. Mourned the passing of an aunt.

6. Continued to mourn the passing of a dear friend.

7. Tried desperately to create a cocoon of love and warmth for my parents as they visited for Thanksgiving.

8. Rocked the hell out of that turkey.

9. Tried desperately to hold up a dear friend as her world implodes.

10. Desired to rock the hell out of that turkey.

11. Had the Christmas tree up before December 1.

12. Hung fun, colorful, tacky lights off the back of the house because I could really use fun, colorful AND tacky right now. Up yours HOA.

13. Bought yet another book about writing.

Number 13 is important because the book is about ending writer’s block. Though as I sat and read the first few paragraphs (that’s all my ADHD-mind will allow these days) I began to realize that “block” is not the word.

“Guilt” feels about right – writer’s guilt.


Writer’s Guilt.

As in, “who the hell am I to think I have any right to indulge in writing?” because that’s what it feels like to my Protestant Work Ethic soul right now. A lark. A fancy. Something an Occupy Wall Street brat would demand while stomping his/her/its foot – “I’m going to write right now because what I have to say is well beyond incredibly important!”

It’s really not.

I apologized to my mom when she asked how the book was coming. I told her it wasn’t. It was crap and schlocky and lightweight with no importance or deep meaning or message that the world seems so desperately in need of right now.

Her answer (roughly) – “Oh, you mean something I would like to read.”

Touché mother.

(note: you may or may not notice I’ve removed the post in memoriam of my Gran. After she stopped crying (nice daughter) my mother asked that it be included in the memorial service bulletin this weekend, after removing the curse words, of course. I’m not sure how Google works and I’m betting most of my relatives don’t as well, but just in case someone gets curious, I don’t want the post up and searchable. I so don’t need their prying eyes. Thank you for all your kind words. They lift me up more than you can know.)

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

nicole December 2, 2011 at 9:08 am

So, isn’t writing something is good for you? I hope you can get past the guilt, because I don’t think you have to set out to be meaningful or important or whatever for it to end up that way. You never know how readers will respond. I hope writing can be something therapeutic for you.

And I did not accomplish nearly as much in November.


Alexandra December 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

I feel so sad.

Because you can’t read the words you put here the way I do.

It’s so sad.

You know yourself so well, you’ve been with yourself since the beginning of time…and yet you will be the one blind to your abilities.

That’s the way it works.

Believe me, I know it’s hard…because you can’t read your words the way someone outside of your head does…but you would write something I would like to read.

It all began with the poem you wrote about having your son sharpie your forehead.

That one swirled in my head for days.
You can write, Ash.

I can’t convince you of it.

You’ll have to do that.


Ash December 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

I love you. Like from the tips of my toes to the tears rolling down my cheeks.

I can handle my parents being disappointed in me. You, I cannot.

Thank you. Sincerely. Back to the schlock I go.



Jen December 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

This is one hell of a comment. Its so beautiful and supportive. I love it. You listen to her, Ash! And you believe it!!!


Alexandra December 2, 2011 at 9:09 am


My comment went to spam.

Can you fish it out?

I meant every word.


Terri Sonoda December 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

Bless your beautiful heart. Many hugs for your losses over the past weeks. Writer’s guilt? I agree because I’ve fought this for months now. With grad school and my unemployment/financial situation, I feel I must be always Always working toward those goals and not writing my heart. I did finish NaNo this year, but my novel’s far from finished. A lot of it, truthfully, will be excluded from said book. I have no ending and no idea in sight. But I’m pressing on because that’s what we do, isn’t it? We keep going. And eventually we Write our Hearts. And all becomes right with the world. For a little while. So Write On my sweet friend. We’ll be there to enjoy every delicious word.


Elaine December 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm

So you know, I’m starting to take photographs of other people (hopefully for extra cash soon) right?

It’s funny because I liken it to the writing thing, or anything that is artistic. It’s hard for us to see our OWN work as anything more than okay, or it is for most of us who don’t have HUGE egos anyway, and I think you and I fall into that category.

Anyway, I’m getting compliments on my photos and I think the people I’ve pictured are beautiful but I’m still constantly critiquing the pictures. It’s the nature of the beast I guess.

I bet your Mom was right, something we’d all like to read. Hope you didn’t scrap it.


p.s. good on you for all you got done last month!


Rachel December 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I love your writing. I love you if your not writing. There is no need to have writer’s guilt. We all work at our on pace. I hate deadlines myself. Regardless, I look forward to reading your novel. Because you are going to write it.

You. Are. Going. To. Write. Your. Novel.

You are too talented of a writer to keep all of your beautiful thoughts inside your head. It’s simply not fair to the rest of us for you to do so.

Big hugs, my sweet Ash.


Mad Woman behind the Blog December 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Did you not get enough gummie bears?

I tried NaNoWriMo last year and got 10 days in when the DH and then DD got sick. There was just no recovering…so I get it.

Guilting you into writing just isn’t nice so let me just say that I will read anything you write, whenever you write it.

Wait, let me rephrase…I’ll read anything you type. AHEM!

Also, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray the pain fades quickly.


injaynesworld December 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Don’t feel guilty and don’t give up your writing. Writer’s block is something all writers experience. I was a TV writer for 25 years and I still experience it. All I can offer is this: Write for yourself and stop worrying about what others will or will not think. It’s too premature for that. And in the end, it won’t matter because no writer can or should try to please everyone.


Emily December 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Your parents are NEVER, EVER disappointed in you!!! Have faith in yourself and your God given talent – share it with the world.


Nancy C December 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

This is spooky.


I feel the same way. Guilty to do my silly little hobbies when there’s so much—so much—that I haven’t really done. Make my mark. Really take those moments. All of it.

At least you have a delicious room out of it.

And you know, what? Grief takes a lot of time. It doesn’t surprise me that you’re mourning your friend and your family, because it’s still raw. And it doesn’t surprise me that you’re helping your friend, because you are so dear and warm and lovely.

I wish I knew how to say this better. You’re such a good person, and I have no doubt that the words will come, when you’re ready.


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