Creative limbo

When a story isn’t

When a story isn’t

Last week, I talked about the challenge of facing a story that needs to be told when we’re afraid to start telling it. This week, the obstacle on my mind is not having a story to tell.

I spent the first two years of my graduate work in Iowa struggling to figure out what the central narrative of my thesis would be. Sure, I had stories. But my story — the one I was supposed to turn into a book-length manuscript — eluded me.

“Some people only have one book in them,” my thesis advisor said to me, intending to reassure but seizing instead upon my fears. “It takes the effort of a lifetime to write it.”