Na na, why can’t I write a book

January 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

I think my mom told me about this: it’s like a therapeutic, self-helpy type exercise where you just keep repeating the same question until you get to the root of whatever. Of course, no matter the long-term benefits, talking to yourself has the immediate result of making you look crazy…er.

So why can’t you be a writer?
Because I can’t write.

Bullshit. Why can’t you be a writer?
Because I don’t write.

Bullshit. You just wrote a paragraph and a half. Why can’t you be a writer?
Because I can’t finish anything.

Besides two novels. So why can’t you be a writer?
Those novels were dreadful. Nobody will want to read what I write.

Uh, wrong. Have you been looking at your blog stats?* Also, even if that were true, why can’t you be a writer?
Because I won’t ever make enough money if no one reads what I write.

You’ve got a year and a half before that’s even a problem. And you definitely won’t get paid for something you don’t write. Plus, you’ve been paid to publish things before. So why can’t you be a writer?
Because, like…I haven’t taken any writing classes.

You are just fishing for reasons now. You know what Stephen King thinks about those. So why can’t you be a writer?
Writing classes are important! That is how you learn to Write Well and not do stuff like popular fiction.

Did you see what I just said about Stephen King? He does that stuff. Not to mention people like Meg Cabot, The Nora, those crime novelists whose names I always forget. It works for them. So why can’t you be a writer?
But my writer friends never took me seriously in school and they won’t take me seriously if I write what I really want to write.

Who gives a shit?
You swear an awful lot for an abstraction of my subconscious.

It’s tough love.
Still.

Jesus. Listen: good for them, I guess. The world needs literary fiction, probably. They can slobber all over David Foster Wallace’s corpse and reread The Bell Jar and Feel Deeply, but you know that they still watch TV and read paperbacks. One leg at a time, like everyone else. And even though what they think doesn’t matter, they respect you anyway and might even be jealous and you know it. So be funny and write what you want to. Don’t sweat over metaphors and deep meaning. Tell stories. There are people who want to read them, and I think some of them will pay you for them. So why can’t you be a writer?
Because I think I’m scared.

Life is terrifying. Bite the bullet, kid.
*sigh* I will. Can I have $500 to attend the RWA National conference in July? Hello?

*Du-uh. Obsessively.

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§ 2 Responses to Na na, why can’t I write a book

  • ra says:

    lemme just say: i read all of those romance handmedowns that you gave me, i reread sophie kinsella’s shopoholic series bi-annually, and i took a class entirely devoted to jane austen (the original romance novelist, genres be damned).
    so harrrumph.
    get ye to a typeriter. or cumportre.

  • […] This blog’s a year old. A year! At the very least, that’s a lot of output. And I wrote a novel (again) in November! Words come together! I am a writer!  […]

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