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New Project: Peyton Dracco Learns to Write

Originally titled New project: learning to Write. Filed under literary arts


It’s been a while. And I have the luxurious excuse of being engaged in an absorbing project. Saying that this project is absorbing is not hyperbole; it is not an intentional exaggeration of the compelling context of this work, which can seem compulsive coming from me.

During the last six months, I wrote the true story behind the inspiration for The 8-13 Project. I want to voluntarily digress here and admit that writing non-fiction is much more complicated than fiction. Actual events are verifiable, and the veracity of the claims made in the book will stand to critical scrutiny. However, even in the pursuit of truth, specific parameters of anonymity and privacy must be met—navigating legal matters like the ironclad N.D.A we signed is often challenging and more often frustratingly necessary to protect everyone involved in the story. I submit humbly in my preceding ignorance that navigating these legal waters is needed to preserve the value of the story itself.

The project is a joint venture between several parties. This latest task that has kept me away from much of my social life is a partnership between people directly involved in the case that changed the financial world and a re-emerging company named After 9 Studios, with the latter being the catalyst for a process that seemed stale at the beginning of 2021. As you may surmise from the earlier mention of the non-disclosure agreements that protect us all, I am not at liberty to disclose the true nature of the project yet. And I’m not here to reveal anything other than a lesson this project affords me.

I thought I could write, and I was wrong. I will likely never know how to write well.

My compound predicates are incomplete, and my objects are easily confused with my subjects because of the distance created by unnecessary commas. I understand the need for subjunctive moods but suffer from the notion that most people cannot understand what I tried in my opening sentence of this paragraph. Perhaps, perpetuating that confusion in my second sentence will show that I don’t truly know what I am doing wrong. Perhaps, it is not that people can’t understand what I tried; rather, that my attempt was poor.

I know in my hearts of hearts that, unlike Hemingway, I will never write that one true sentence. I don’t know how a true sentence reads. I don’t know if my heart of hearts is a true thing. I only know that I have much work to do to become a mediocre writer, and therein lies the lesson: I look forward to that work. I am in love with the anxiety that thinking about learning to write causes me. I am enamoured and profoundly impressed with my need to put a true sentence together, but more compelling to my sense of arrogance is the idea that I will never stop learning if I pursue the complexity of language. I know now that my existence is meaningless in the interminable undertaking of learning how to write well.

More on the project soon.


Peyton J. Dracco is the author of The 8-13 Project, and the non-fictional account of the events that were referred by US Justice officials as "The Biggest Crime of Its Kind in History".

You can learn more about Peyton and the work he does for After 9 Studios on his website:

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1 Comment

Peyton Dracco
Peyton Dracco
Jul 14, 2021

Thank you for republishing this. I'm excited. This is going to be good.

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