In my head the story is beautiful, it flows and aches with sadness, but on the page it's drunk and stumbling, stammering over simple phrases, tripping over its own shoelaces, knocking over chairs, talking too much too loudly and then lapsing into awkward silences, never finding the right words and finding too many of the wrong ones, the ones that have been used and used and used up. It's been on paper in many forms for more than two years, and so much time has passed that some of what used to be fiction is now memoir, yet much of what used to be memoir still resists any attempt to mold it into fiction.
Hemingway was once challenged to write the shortest possible short story, and he replied with
For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.
Yet I have as many or as few words as I want, and I have a thought, but I cannot cross the distance between the thought and the arrangement of words that would do justice to the thought.
So I keep writing crap, and I wait.