Boston

I’m on leg three of a four-leg journey––a tour, if you will––up in Boston researching a piece on Anne Sexton.  Today, I visited McLean Hospital, Sexton’s old house in Weston, and a school I was obsessed with when I went through my “free education” phase in high school (this was mainly because I was jealous of kids who didn’t have to take science.)  Finally back in my weird B&B––the proprietor is trying so hard to make it charming New England, but it has a slight edge of trailer park––I’m thinking again about how writers, or at least this one, can’t go to therapy.  I mean, they can, but in my brief return to therapy earlier this year, I realized about how often I would notice my therapist’s face blanch when she realized I was about to talk about my writerly problems again.  What I need is a mentor, an older, professional writer who can advise me as to when to press editors and when to back off, what topics are bankable and which ones aren’t, when productivity is good and when you’ve exhausted your audience for the moment, and so forth.  If someone can do this for me, all I can offer is to pay it forward, and provide such a service for a young upstart once I hit a nice stride.  I’m guessing that will be in, oh, twenty to thirty years.

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