Writers, we can’t have nice things. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. We believe we have a capricious muse who wanders in (rarely) and out of our head space (often at the worst possible time). We curse him or her or it (can’t be genderist) when we can’t write and praise and worship when the words flow with the viscosity and taste of honey. We are kidding ourselves when we say, “I couldn’t write today because my Muse was off at the day spa and didn’t invite me.”
2. We invent characters loosely based on the our own fears and misgivings, but make them thinly veiled caricatures of people we know (yes, you have irritated us once too often, so we made you into a character who dies a slow death by having your buttocks scrubbed with sand paper and washed with lemon juice).
3. We eavesdrop on every conversation, squirrelling away choice bits of dialogue, character traits and personality tics. Whenever the family gets together our brains melt with all the juicy tidbits. On Christmas Day we experience the high of a sugar junkie.
4. We haunt twitter and facebook and any other avenue of social media to pimp our wares. Support for one another is important, but we end up feeding the circle creating narcissistic, preening believers of our own onanism, making us grow extra digits, and probably another head. Look beyond the immediate circle and seek an audience. Do something that doesn’t involve writing.
5. We believe our ego has the tensile strength of an egg shell. And I’ve seen a raw egg thrown a fair distance only to bounce and not break. If you can handle being popped out a sphincter with no harm done, you can handle a bit of criticism and rejection. Go and play in the dirt like chickens. It builds character.
6. We can teach glaciers a thing or two about procrastination. Apply a blowtorch to the things that have frozen up, and liberally spray WD-40 as if it were a can of Lynx deodorant body spray and create your own climate change. Get it done!
7. We believe we hold the monopoly of ideas creation and generation (along with artists and musicians). Psst… look at the business world, corporate strategy, management, child care, education, health care. They have some bloody good ideas. Now, go outside and play, and learn from other areas of life.
8. We arbitrarily create rules for writing. And then change them because we anticipate the ad break to allow us to void our bladder. Rules are cultural, aesthetic and social constructs of ‘taste’ when it comes to writing. I will use adverbs summarily. Simply write to your purpose and function, not ideas of fashion and taste.
9. We complain, whinge, tweet, start flame wars, and troll about the publishing industry because it’s in a state of flux and we are afraid of the changes. When the dust settles, publishing will still be there. It will look different, but there will still be avenues to publish, even if we have to invent it.
10. We believe reading, and our words, is important and therefore require recompense. We do not have a right to make money from our art. It’s a privilege. Even if we don’t get paid, let’s use our words to reflect, question, entertain, amuse, horrify, and challenge, even in the one story.