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I know I just asked y'all this question in the thread last weekend btw but I think we all know answering it at will on the internet is vastly different than in person. 😇

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Often I don't answer and say, "Let's talk about you first." How are things going? Nobody ever remembers that they even asked me a questions.

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I think a worse question is, “Are you still writing?”

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Nov 22, 2023·edited Nov 22, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

I mentioned my long latent dream of writing to my doctor brother and, to my surprise (he was a very practical sort), he said, "There's still time."

The next year he was diagnosed with and passed away from brain cancer. That small encouragement continues to mean a lot.

For better or worse, there isn't anyone at this time to care about my writing progess. My husband, but husbands don't count. 😁

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

"My writing? Well, first, let's set some context by doing a craft deep dive on character development! To paraphrase Henry James, character determines incident, and incident reveals character. Wait, where are you going? I thought you wanted to talk about my writing!"

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Love! Over the years, I've learned to say "it's going!" and leave it up to them/their imagination to decide the direction. When talking with other writers, though, the sky's the limit. How's your writing? could be followed by "How much time do you have? " LOLOL.

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

My writing project is — and will remain for some time into the future — inchoate. A memoir, sometimes I find my way through the fog and pull to this side a shred, a poem, or some other hybrid form which I can use as a template to congeal a fractured memory. I have advanced from throwing them in a box, to creating a flexible order in a binder. I don’t plan to share it until it has coagulated into the book. So my always answer is: “It’s working”

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I'm okay with just saying its going great, even when that's not exactly true. One reason is to fight the stereotype of angst ridden artists. Also, it's just easier.

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

I usually just say "Fine." I know that's rude and I don't care anymore.

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Nov 23, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

BTW this is the part that made me laugh aloud: “And who invited him anyway? This fucking guy.” Thanks!

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Nov 25, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

No one asks me this, luckily. They ask about one of my two professions, if they want to know how I’m doing. But when I ask myself, I can say “Damn girl, you’ve really learned how to be honest! Even when you don’t want to!”

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Even though this post is several weeks old, you have to know that "this fucking guy" has been in my vernacular ever since this landed in my inbox. As shorthand for what's happening with my writing, and I don't just mean "not great" I mean all of what you, Jami, describe above. "This fucking guy" is my mental shorthand for "mixed feelings" about my writing at the moment as well as a motivator for "write what you can write." Today I pulled the post up again and reread it all, just to laugh out loud at the whole lead-in to "this fucking guy" and also because it's my birthday (and what better present than laughter, and to consider a whole new year (day/week/month) of possibility. Thanks for you -- and for "this fucking guy."

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