An Unfinished Essay about Unfinished Essays

It boggles my mind why someone like Roxanne Gay can seem to write and publish so many essays, yet I can’t finish one. She must endlessly think about interesting things in general.


It isn’t because I don’t read, I do. I read a lot of non-fiction as well. I watch TV programs, news, biographies, NOVA, BBC, you name it. But yet, when I sit down to write something the mind becomes constipated.

Maybe I just don’t have deep thoughts?

No that’s not it.

Actually I find myself thinking about all kinds of things, but how to write about them?

I start writing about something and then I say, “Ah this is no good!” and leave it alone. Sometimes I go back to it if there is something that gnaws at me. I have a ton of unfinished essays, but why?

I lack confidence. That is what Roxanne Gay has that I don’t. She knows what she has to say is something others want to hear. She is unapologetic about it. It’s not that I am not unapologetic about what I have to say but I question if I really want to go down that particular sewer drain. I mean, I can write an entire book of essays about my mother.

I know one only gets confidence by writing, so that is what I must do. I must write the essays and I must finish them, and then I must submit them (get rejected) submit them again, and continue ad nauseam until….voilà…one is published.




About Liz Kelso
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