Thursday, August 12, 2010

..."Write. A lot of people want to be a writer, it seems to me, and they do everything they can to be a writer, except write." -- Chang-rae Lee

That's sounds like me sometimes, like yesterday actually. Lee is a phenomenal writer by the way. Google him. Buy any of his books. You won't be sorry.

...I like this, from "Eyeshot:"

7. You're so talented. Online writer friends tell you this all the time.
6. You're wasting your life at that job that indirectly pays for everything you do.
5. Novels need you to breathe life back into the form, even if your novel will be semi-autobiographical, linear (except for a bit of interspersed backstory about some poignant moment of gauzy innocence), mostly set in Williamsburg, first-person POV, in the present tense, and not much longer than a novella.
4. You tried reading that work novel in the first-person plural POV ("we") and you know your own work novel is better, plus your work novel can't fail to intrigue agents, editors, general readers, academics, and the gatekeepers of posterity because, although not set deep in the heart of the Texas or the "inner city," it's presented in the second-personplural POV ("all y'all).
3. You know you have considerably limited talent and ambition and discipline and understanding of grammar etc and there's no market for semi-autobiographical novellas like the one you started that's set in NYC etc etc, not to mention e-readers turning texts into easily stealable mp3-like files etc etc but if you work another day in a cube surfing freakin' lit web blogs and wanting to reach through the screen to reprimand those who refer to books by former teachers and friends as works of startling interiority ("to live outside the law you must be honest") and maybe are in need of some sweet sweet seppuku or at least a sense that Dennis Cooper is not God then well what the hell were you saying again?
2. You know everything goes in cycles so we're bound to run into another late '90s–like run of multimillion dollar contracts for first novels very soon.
1. Kafka worked in an office and things turned out OK for him even if he died of consumption. Are you willing to have things turn out OK writing-wise and also die of consumption? Yes, you're totally willing to die of consumption (excessive buying of lots of stuff, right?) as long as it lets you become immortal before you die so you peer over the shoulders of hot young things who read your stuff lying out in the sun at the pool but then get distracted by a text message and forget about cockroaches and hunger artists and sins etched across one's back -- I mean, THREE TIMES you've been nominated for a PUSHCART and you've been in the running for STORYSOUTH's best of the web and in Dzanc's best of the freakin' web book so yeah it is time to do what needs to be done, to take arms against a sea of work-related spreadsheets and release yourself into all-day/everyday literary pursuit! Make sure to start a blog updating your progress so readers can follow your decline into lethargy, indolence, intemperance, and realize maybe just maybe oh shit what have you done. (Note: it is quite possible that quitting your job to work on your novel may yield an unpublishable memoir composed entirely of such devolutionary blog posts, and if all else fails, assuming you're still young and comely, have you ever considered employment in a nearby major city's lucrative sex tourism industry?)

No comments:

Post a Comment