It's Happening!!! I'm Changing!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014 | 1 Comment(s)

Eh . . . Eh . . .

Transformation: A process that pertains only to butterflies and losing a large amount of weight
Pretty sweet new digs huh?  It's ok to be impressed.  But seriously y'all, we're only 75% done -- It's gonna get even better.  If you encounter error messages or happen to being using Internet Explorer 6.0 (the universal donor of coding problems), please do drop me a line so I can get that mess cleaned up post-haste.

But until then, let's talk about life and shit.  Nah, screw it, let's just talk about my life. 

The life of a writer is defined primarily by its lack of routine.  My office, it turns out, is wherever I happen to be when the anti-venomous writing bug smuggles its inspiration through my carpel-tunnel and into my brain.  Talk about transient.  In order to best prepare, and in fact nurture, these inspirational bugs to bite as often as possible, I have mapped out particular establishments all across the Pioneer Valley where I know I can drop down and get my writing on at a moments notice.

The larger problem this scenario references is that if I do get bitten while foolishly traveling sans writing utensil/device, I run the risk of losing my best idea forever.  Because every story I don't write could have been the one that transcended my past emotional blockages and resonated with the public like an internet meme of interspecies friendship. In those white-knuckle moments of writer's block, these ghosts of stories unwritten haunt my waking hours. Inspiration, it turns out, is the butterfly emerged, flapping like a knuckleball across the top of the tall grasses, never to be still again. 

Henry David Thoreau preached:

"Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.” 

Of course, steps are taken to massage, funnel, and schedule these visits from Calliope & Thalia into predictable blocks of time; locations of past productivity. These best laid plans for a constructive afternoon of composition, however, will inevitably be disrupted and uprooted in some impossible-to-predict way. The link between writing and drinking is a real one for good reason.

Thankfully, at least there is all the glory.  The romance of a life spent writing.

I saw a commercial on television the other day that began with an off camera voice asking people on the street, "If you could do anything for a living, what would be your dream job?" The third woman interviewed replied, "I'd be a writer!" with such eagerness and pep, that you would think the occupation she described entailed nothing but Hollywood parties and paid vacations.

The distance between the idea of a life of writing and the actualization of that goal is akin to the distance between the idea of tight-rope walking across the Grand Canyon, as opposed to doing it.  Unless you are Steven King or David Sedaris (or any other Sedaris really), the only true romance about writing as a career is the street cred that comes from living a life just above the poverty line.

You want an example? One of my dream jobs would be to write for the Daily Show (more on this in a later blog). Those writers are hilarious, witty, wry, sarcastic, paid, and are allowed to bring their dogs to work. But can I  name one of the existing writers' names off the top of my head (excluding those that are both writers and anchors of course). No, of course not. Cause they're friggin writers, the lowest of the low.  Faces to be hidden from the camera lest the show's popularity immediately nosedive into obscurity.

In many ways this occupation is its own Catch-22. If you're getting interviewed on TV about the book you already written and published, you're  no longer part of the romantic trials and tribulations associated with the struggling writer.  And if you are ensconced in the forever-uphill struggle to disseminate your written word, no one gives a shit.

1 comment:

  1. I give a shit, Babalu.
    Also, I can't help wondering about the neurochemistry of writing. What must be happening is that sometimes the neurology is happening right and other times it's not--if only we knew what the "missing ingredient" was!