Glasses? Check. Notebook? Check. Brooding expression? Check. Now all we need is a cat.
When someone asks you what you want to be in life, they’re expecting the usual answers—doctor, lawyer, teacher. It surprises them when you say you want to be a writer. They don’t understand; they hated writing in school. Didn’t everyone? Was there actually someone who enjoyed writing that two-thousand word essay on Lord of the Flies? No, it’s impossible. The entire class whined about it. Some people even complained on Facebook. And those quiet girls who sit in the back of the class… Well they didn’t complain, but of course they weren’t happy about it either.
And what are writers supposed to do? Just… write? Do they just sit down in front of their laptop and type down whatever comes to them? Or do they use a pen and paper? What about J.K. Rowling, who wrote the first Harry Potter book on a napkin? Someone said that wasn’t true, but it was on Wikipedia, so of course it’s real. How do you fit a whole book on a napkin, though? Writers must have really small handwriting. They probably squint a lot, too… That’s why they all wear glasses, isn’t it?
Most writers don’t even make money. They live in a tiny apartment in New York City, alone with their cat. Every night they order Chinese takeout. And eventually their electricity gets shut down because they can’t pay their bill. It’s common these days, if you’re not a politician or if you don’t work with nanotechnology. And for writers, it’s worse. Because if your book isn’t made into a movie, you’re going to be one of those starving artist types.
You don’t have to be ashamed though. You’re an intellectual—it’s a dying breed. While everyone is out partying and having social lives, you’re cooped up inside trying to change the world. It’s a good thing. The world needs more people like you—people who don’t care about making a living. Reality is a greedy place, but writers aren’t part of reality anyway. They live in their own little fantasyland, where they float on clouds and get swept off into the sunset.
So what kind of emotional problem do you have? Depression? Introversion? Addiction to caffeine? It’s ok. The workers at Starbucks know lots of customers on a first name basis; it’s not just you. I heard there’s some kind of writer’s rehab, though, where you learn how to cope with all the stress that comes with your creativity. Maybe that’s the right thing for you; you seem like the person who would freak out if your friend sent you a text with improper grammar.
…Or do you not have any friends?
That must be the case. No one really cares about the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re” anyway. Your phone has probably been lying untouched on a shelf since high school. Maybe it’s even got a layer of dust on it now. You should go check—you probably have asthma or some kind of weird medical condition where you’re allergic to dust.
Yeah, it must be hard to want to be a writer. Maybe you should rethink your entire life—it seems like the best thing to do. If you want the big bucks, you have to do something realistic, like open a hybrid between a law firm, a laboratory, and a space center. That way, astronauts can find the cure for cancer and sue people who try to claim it as their own. It’ll be the next big thing.
Then again, you might be happy in your little apartment, blogging for the rest of your life while a pile of rejection letters from all the big publishing companies slowly grows on your desk. To each their own. Just don’t complain when the coffee makes your teeth turn yellow.
Read Full Post »