If You Have To Break A Door To Write A Novel Is That OK?

How much does a door cost?

I’m asking because I broke one.

I’m dying to tell you the story, but it’s gonna require me to fess up to a little lie of omission.

A few weeks ago I mentioned (here) that for the first time ever in my life, I stormed out of a room. That part was true.

But I also claimed that I didn’t slam the door, because that’s an advanced storming out move and I was a first-timer.  That part was only half true.

While I did not slam the door inside the group therapy room, there was another door leading from the Good Doctor’s suite of offices out into the hushed hallway.

I slammed that door really fucking hard.

Image from HomeDepot.com (where else?)

Image from HomeDepot.com (where else?)

At the first session post-storm-out, the Good Doctor made a joke insinuating that I broke the door. But because he’s not very funny, I didn’t get the “joke.”  However what he lacks in humor he makes up for in tenacity.  He made another reference to his “broken door.”  And then another one.

Well God dammit, Doctor, are you trying to tell me I broke your door?  Just say so. This whole “be direct” thing you are so fond of applies to you too, you know.

So he said it directly: “You broke my door.”

I didn’t know what to say so I shocked everyone (especially me) by shutting up.

But I didn’t stop thinking about it.  I spent a few weeks wandering around, lost in the murky ethical thicket. Am I obligated to buy him a new door? Pay for repairs? Apologize? Mahogany or pine?

I knew if I brought it up again, he was going to ask me about my feelings.  I would have to tell him that I felt afraid that I was in trouble with him and that I felt ashamed that I couldn’t hold my shizz together enough to storm out with all my belongings and without destroying the premises.

But, remember, he knows me.  So I would have to cop to one more naughty, unspeakable feeling.

Yes, if I talked about my feelings I would betray that I felt a teeny, tiny, little, wee bit proud of myself for having that much fury.  For leaving a fucking mark. For not being such a pansy-assed, pay-on-time-and-don’t-disturb-the-doctor kind of woman.

He’d detect the hint of swagger about me.  He’d sniff out that 4.8% of me that feels a perverse joy I broke his door and the even smaller part of me that hopes he understands something new about me.

I haven’t been ready to bring it up again, so I’ve held my tongue.

He, however, can’t seem to shut up about it.  His most recent reference proved to me that he’s way of ahead of me in understanding the mysteries of my heart and mind.

“If you need to break my door to write a novel is that OK with you?”

Hmmmmm.  He didn’t seem mad.  Actually, he seemed proud and amused and convinced it’s related to the book I am writing.

When I am not perusing the Home Depot website for doors, I think about his question.  Is it OK with me?  Is it OK with me that writing a novel stirs up more emotion (namely, rage and terror) than I’ve ever experienced?  Is it OK that I may break some things along the way?  Is it OK that it may be brutally messy and expensive and draining?

Is it OK to break a door to write a novel?


73 thoughts on “If You Have To Break A Door To Write A Novel Is That OK?

    • THat’s right. I didn’t mean to cause permanent damage, but that was my Yawp all coming out. Also: I pressed PUBLISH on this post accidentally instead of save, so it went out a little early. One of those weeks.

  1. Seeing as I work at Home Depot (and love it), I can assure you our doors are awesome. But may break with too much force applied to them. 😉

    • I bet it’s awesome to work there!! My hubs is a huge HOme Depot fan and other than it making me feel like an inept homeowner, I love it too. Especially the paint department.

      • I know this will probably sound cheesy to some people, but here goes:

        Home Depot is, hands down, the best job I’ve ever had. The job itself is fun and interesting. My coworkers are the greatest. I’ve never had better bosses anywhere. I’d honestly have a broken heart if for some reason I lost my job there. There is so much support from everyone there. Yes, they expect you to work hard. But that’s part of, you know, having a job. And yes, the paint department is the best! So. Many. Pretty. Colors!

        I still feel inept about repairs and stuff working there, though. I’ve totally had to kick my mindset of “duct tape and a hammer and nails and a couple screwdrivers is all I need to fix ANYTHING!!!”. Heh.

      • I am directing my husband to this right now. What you have described is a dream job….And I love the way the wood department smells. And our Home Depot has a giant gumball machine that you can get gum from for 25 cents. I love that gum.

        Good for you with job satisfaction. That makes you about as rare as a unicorn!

        On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM, Outlaw Mama

      • Like anywhere there are a couple of bad apples. But the good stuff overwhelmingly outweighs the few ‘bad’ things. That really, aren’t so bad!

        I wonder if that makes me a Home Depot Unicorn. I may have to ask my store manager about this. (He’ll laugh.) I may also have to beg for a giant gumball machine for my store. Because who doesn’t love a giant gumball machine filled with awesome gumballs?

      • The orange gumballs are best. I hope you get employee of the month several times a year. With your attitude and job satisfaction, you would be a shoo-in. Or is it shoe-in?

      • I’m going with “shoe-in”. Mostly because it took a couple of tries to find shoes that are good for working there. We won’t talk about the first two pair that left me basically unable to walk at the end of the day. Those concrete floors require getting used to and really good shoes! (A pair of Dr Scholl’s brand sneakers with extra padding and built in gel insoles ended up working the best for me. Dr S is my bestest best foot friend!)

        Keep breaking those doors – it’s good for you. Totally worth it.

  2. Lady, 24.8% of me would be proud enough to own the emotional power to break a door.

    I think if you write a novel properly, you break a door, a window, a heart, at least one bone, and the integrity of one good memory.

    But I haven’t done any of that yet. You can bet your wallet I’m going to go back and break a few things, though…

    Congrats on breaking the door. That’s awesome.

  3. I like your doc 🙂
    Taking out a little anger now and again is healthy. As long as it’s on a door and not a person (which would lack not only metaphoric significance but human decency, of course)

  4. Be proud, and yes, it’s okay to break a few things – what’s that they say about breaking a few eggs to make an omelet?
    And don’t worry about paying to fix it – I think *that’s* what they call “the cost of doing business.” (but you probably should apologize)

  5. I have been writing my novel for the last two years. Break the damn door if it will help you make yours happen! I’m here from Yeah Write. And it’s my first time. Nice to meet you! (But I’ve seen you at Write On Edge, so I guess I’ve been stalking you for a while.)


  6. I am significantly impressed that that was the FIRST time you ever slammed a door. You have kids? And a husband? Damn.

    Pay for the door…before your book is a raving success and the doctor chases you for proceeds.

  7. Whatever it takes. I think there would be a small part of me that would be proud to let out that much fury as well, and then I’d over-apologize as usual. I think it’s a good thing; if the process is stirring that much emotion, then it will probably land on the pages of your book as well.

    • One of my friends bought some dishes at the thrift store so she could bust them up when she needed to get some rage out. I was thinking something less sharp…and also, something crappy I already have and should just brake the throw out.

  8. I’m a door slammer too. Or, I was. Haven’t slammed in a while. Maybe it’s the meds. Or the therapist. But hell yes, go ahead as long as you don’t have to pay for it. I’m so glad you’re writing a book!

  9. Totally okay to break that door! Break it, tear it off the hinges, and hack the motherfucking shit out of it w/ the axe you’re gonna bring to your next therapy session. Okay, maybe I need therapy too. . .

  10. I want to give you a big squeezy hug for this one. Thank you for telling us about the door. I am proud of you – you talk often about keeping your feelings to yourself but this time (and the time you broke the door) you didn’t. And that is AWESOME. No one likes it when the one who puts up with all the bullshit suddenly says she’s had enough and stops playing her role. Good for you.

    It’s definitely OK to break a door to write a novel. Break two if you need to.

  11. 1) Absolutely it’s OK to break a door to write a novel
    2) He has insurance to cover the door if he really wants it replaced. You can’t be the first person to slam it, and your slam was likely just the one it couldn’t take and
    3) Good LORD it sounds like he and his group may have NEEDED some storming out on.

  12. It’s that old saying, you’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet? If you have to break a door, break a door. I throw the occasional wrench across the yard. I know I feel better when all of that yucky stuff gets out.

    Also, he’s probably making enough on the sessions to cover the cost of his own damned door!

  13. I heart the hell out of you. Have I told you that? No? Yes? True story- I broke an elliptical machine, a Swiffer mop, AND, AND ran my car into my HOUSE while writing my novel, so break as many damn doors as you need. LOVED THIS POST!

  14. My novel has just been submitted (last Wed) to a real-deal literary agent in a real-deal big city far far away. I’m still waiting to hear back. Hopefully it will be published and I can send you a link to it on the Books A MIllion webpage soon…..

  15. It’s totally okay to break a door. I mean it’s not like you broke someone’s face. For a doctor he seems pretty obsessive about the whole thing. Maybe he should prescribe himself some valium or something.

    Break some doors and complete that novel!!

    Ps… I broke my laptop… I wasn’t writing a novel… but this website I obsessively check was being slow and I punched the screen… and poof no laptop. I never lose my cool so I’m sure there was something more behind that… but hey. Sometimes I think we just need to break something.

  16. I’ve spent most of my life avoiding fits of rage, so I have to say, I would have been a tiny bit proud, too 🙂 It sounds like you have the perfect match in your therapist. He really gets you, doesn’t he?

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