He lived his life impulsively, and believed, genuinely, in honesty above all else. And maybe she found it an admirable trait at first. It was easy to appreciate, certainly, that everything he did was entirely open. There were no lies, no taking anything back. He said what he meant and meant what he said--and he said what came to mind. That was important. You can't be honest if you leave anything unsaid.

And she spent her evenings in her study writing and refining and editing, and he never really paid attention to the process, until she mentioned one day that she had to cut out an entire section to make it work. She often had to--sometimes she'd write six pages of introduction, only to cut them out because none of it was actually worth reading.

He asked what she did with them when she cut them out. "I don't--I just delete them. Is that what you mean? It's usually just not worth keeping."

"You just de--you know what, forget it."

She couldn't, of course. Every word she cut out, even if it was just revising a sentence on the fly, felt like she was committing some unspeakable crime, like she was burning books--books that would never even be read, hiding words from the world that would never be seen. The editorial process became utterly untenable. He seemed to approve of this new approach.

She left him not long after, of course. There are certain things a writer couldn't do for love nor money.

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