Sunday, May 24, 2015

500 Words, Day 4 -- Does This Facebook Page Make My Narcissism Look Fat?

That would be a great name for a Facebook page, btw.  I better go create that right now before someone else thinks of it.  More fun with self-reference.  

This 500 Words a Day thing though.  Setting the expectation of writing a certain amount every day changes the game because the excuse of "I don't have time to write,” (external constraints), shifts to "I don't have anything to write about” (internal inadequacy).   

Awesome. I think we're getting somewhere.  

Picture time as a fire hose and your writing as water.  When that hose is coiled up but there’s writing to be done, it feels pretty damned important to get it said.   Crisis writing.  And some of that turns out PDG if I do say so myself.   The urgency of it crackles on the page. Snap crackle ka-pow.  But if you roll that fire hose out on the daily as a requirement, then that same writing, leisurely now, affable almost, rolls around inside it very limply, like, well, like something very limp and ineffective rolling around inside something much larger and loose.   (Ed:  Coy ellipsis here or a winkie, I can’t decide.)  

Sitting down to write your vegetables each day is an uncomfortable prospect.  If you come up empty, you have to consider the possibility that you really are an undisciplined dilettante who occasionally manages to scrabble together a paragraph or two in between pithy tweets and relatable Facebook memes, like Scheherazade or something, but not even remotely like her, on second thought actually.  But I went to the trouble of googling “Scheherazade” to make sure I spelled it correctly (I did) so it’s staying in.    Especially because, you’re not really a writer, yanno, just a Nutjob with fast internet and a big vocabulary, and attempting writing exercises and joining groups and whatnot are merely pathetic indicators of that terminal wannabe-hood.   

Let's face it, I have a fantasy that, despite my ham-handed use of Blogspot, despite the amateurish font choices and layout disasters that betray my ignorance of HOW DO I WORK THIS, somehow the quality is there and a kindly publisher recognizes it and takes pity on me (yeah, I know, but it’s my fantasy, remember?) and just when we’re getting to the good part, when they fly me to New York and go over the contract and I’m getting ready to sign and then <needle across the turntable>  I remember:

Can’t get famous till everyone’s dead.  As if.  

I tiptoe around this illusion that my family doesn’t know I write about them, or even that I write about myself.  Or even that I write.   There are exactly seven people who know me in real life who know I write The Klonopin Chronicles.  And three of them are friends from an online (of course) parenting board fifteen years ago.  (And one is my therapist.  I know, right?)  

That feeling when you reach 500 words and stop even though you’re not done,  or reach 500 words and start looking around for ways to carve out some to save for later because maybe you could get two or three days’ worth of posts out of this idea if you play your cards right.  

Those artificial requirements, those self-referential impositions.  

Awesome. I think we’re getting somewhere.  


1 comment:

  1. Stop.

    1. You are a writer. You will be a better writer for discipline (says the spectrum ADHD mess at the other end of the line), but I have a friend I watch with more than a twinge of jealousy climbing up the small lit ladder of success because he does.

    2. You therapist actually reads your blog? I think mine would have me in five point restraints after a particularly brutal week at work, when I start posting on Friday's in the voice of the Speaking Tequila Skull (who is merely consulted, not consumed (or not very much, or it all becomes gibberish). Or he would think me the most fascinating patient in his stable, and the subject of his next book. If you don't have that sort of maniacal if unreliable sort of confidence you don't start writing in public.