May 27th, 2004


Writing, frustration, and garbage

Last night I was in Criminal Records browsing and yelling at Rick (which reminds me, there are some really damn good comics I've read lately that I need to rave about, but not right now) when suddenly, I had an idea for a story. A real, solid idea. Not just some vague musings. I marched across the store, hugged Rick, bought my very first Elvis Costello album (yes, I know, my musical knowledge is sorely lacking and I am working on fixing this) and a piece of bizarro goodness from Top Shelf titled All Flee! (which makes me happy just to say), and went home, babbling at atomicnumber51 on the phone about how excited I was about my flash of inspiration.

You know what's coming...

I got home, got ready, got a notebook, and...


What's the problem with getting something from my head to the page? Why can I write all sorts of inane babblings here but when it's time to write something "real", I freeze? I've got a novel I've been carrying around in my head for four years and a comic for one and I've actually written maybe five pages of the former and one of the latter. How can I be a writer when I can't fucking write?

I finally manage to get a paragraph down just so I could say I'd written something. It sucks.

Then this morning, as I'm thinking about this while opening the morning mail, I see that one of the support staff has requested this piece of shite.

If spoiled sorority brats can write books that become bestsellers, why can't I?

Okay, so I thought maybe I was being a little unfair so I opened the book to see if I was being too harsh.

I completely lost my appetite on the spot, exactly like I do when I hear Tchaikovsky's pas de deux from Swan Lake. Some things are just so romantic they make you feel like you'll never eat again. Humphrey Bogart only has to blink at Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca and I'm literally in danger of starvation unless I'm not careful.

I suddenly found myself with a profound sense of gratitude that the narrator is not a real person, because if she were, I would feel honor-bound to hunt her down and kill her. I mean, what is this shit?! "Oh, it's so romantic. I can't eat. I'll waste away." *gothy hand to forehead* I do not think a single one of my chick friends wants to read about this. Let me guess, she weighs 90 pounds soaking wet. NO THANK YOU. Look, I only lose my appetite at times of severe emotional distress, and even then nine times out of ten I just eat like a pig.

The whole book is like that -- name-dropping all over the place to make up for the fact that the author has nothing original to say. I thought about snagging it for the night and playing a little game where I drink every time there's a gratuitous reference to Jude Law, Prada, or the Ritz, but even I don't like to drink that much.

Then again, the dust jacket says it's "a heartwarming social satire"... Maybe I'm missing the point and you're all laughing at me for missing the point... WAIT A MINUTE. I was an English major. I should be able to trust myself to tell the difference between satire and a train wreck. A satire would end with this narrator living in a trailer park, not Happily Ever After. No way is this on a par with Gentlement Prefer Blondes. Anyway, is there even such a thing as "a heartwarming social satire"?

There. Like nothing I've just spewed dozens of words about something that's a total waste of my time. Why can't I do that with something that matters?

Maybe I should just write "Prada Bentley Bellini Harry Winston" over and over again for two hundred pages and send it to New York. Someone's bound to publish it.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated