It’s Not Easy Being Green…er, I Mean Me

Speaking of frogs, my grandson is well and truly obsessed with them. He hasn’t met a frog he doesn’t love.

In fact, he’s in love with the colour green itself. He sings songs to the colour green. For Edward, I believe it would be extremely easy to be green.

As for being me…it’s often hard. This is true of life in general, of course, but what I’m talking about here is my writing life. It’s not easy. Particularly in the winter. It’s hard to catch the spark, if you know what I mean. It’s even harder when you feel obligated to finish a project. And at the moment I’m feeling particularly obligated to finish a certain project that shall, here, remain nameless.

Let’s just say it’s when you most need a project to be taken care of that that project fights you tooth and nail. Every step of the way.  Just when I think I have it by the tail, it struggles itself away from me. And this isn’t even a real deadline. There’s nobody standing beside me with a gun to my temple telling me, “WRITE! FINISH IT! NOW!” It’s just little ole me, wanting to get it done. Although, the mother of the little man who loves green is waiting to read the rest of this particular work-in-progress. And she’s not exactly subtle about it.

I don’t know what it is about this project. Usually I just thrash about until I’m finished a story. I don’t particularly think about the next turn in the road…I just take it. I don’t brag when I say this. I have just been extraordinarily lucky when it comes to writing a novel. I don’t outline, and mostly it’s just a struggle to keep my hands moving as fast as the story that floats by on the movie-screen of my mindscape. But this story, it’s different. The first three quarters came to me at a shocking pace. The last third is not surrendering to me as quickly as I would like it to.

This infuriates me. This makes me question my ability to write. This makes me kick and scream somewhere deep inside of myself. Yes, I even admit to being overly dramatic on the subject. I may have even stood out in the street in the middle of the night, looking up into the cold dark stratosphere and screamed,

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Maybe. I might have done that. I might not have done that. There’s no video footage, so one cannot be entirely sure.

Listen, I just want to put this one to bed. I just want to write those golden words at the end of the journey.


Those words are heavenly to the writer. They signify the end of a long arduous trek. Oddly, they also signify the death of a loved one. As heavenly as it is to write those words, it is also slightly tragic. It’s you stepping away from characters you loved spending time with. It’s you telling them, “Goodbye.”

So, yeah, it’s hard being me. It’s frustrating. I may not be green, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sing the blues every now and again.

I know what you’re thinking. Cry me a freakin’ river. Well, I am…so there. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up. I’m going to beat this thing. I WILL win! This manuscript has nothing on me. I will NOT fall to pieces.

Actually, that’s the perfect song for how I feel about my WIP.

I fall to pieces, each time I see you again.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my manuscript. I just want to conquer it. Sometimes we writers need to declare war on our projects in order to get to the finish line. Tonight, that’s what I’m doing. This means war….

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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