Friday, February 20, 2009

But, what the hell? Everyone liked Hemingway before they found out he was... unstable.

And here we are. I'm a cliche. I've got writer's block. I'm misunderstood by editors. My family doesn't actively support my art. What else... Um, I struggle in anonymity. I retreat to the internet as a form of avoidance. I have no original thoughts. I bridle at criticism (see the misunderstood thing, above). I doubt my abilities.

It feels awesome to be a cardboard cutout of a struggling writer. You can probably guess what I had for breakfast, what I watch on TV, what I'm wearing. And you would be right. Predictable. Like a cold french fry. This is the way we like our writers, isn't it? Nobody really wants a well-adjusted healthy writer of literary fiction. We don't want our doctors to have acne, we don't want child abusers to be young and attractive, we don't want our writers happy.

So is it a product of the art, or is the art a product of the funk? I guess we'll find out, now that it's breaking me down.

8 Comments:

Blogger Mamalujo said...

If I had any idea how I could really, really be of any use or assistance to you, I would already have asked you for that help first.

I'm thinking this writing thing is about as solitary an endeavor as one could find.

Mine's not going much of anywhere either. Hang in there. Send me something to read.

2/20/2009 12:32 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I don't have an opinion either way about Hemingway, the man, and don't really care much. Short of him being an axe murder or child molester, it doesn't really matter to me what kind of person he was.

As an author, I just finished re-reading Cannery Row and liked it as much as ever. I wasn't aware that Hemingway was out of favor/style/whatever.

I never did give a shit for literary trends anyway, it strikes me as pretentious. I like what I like and don't need anyone to tell me what I should be reading.

I also have no truck with stereotypes. So, no problem here with struggling writers leading otherwise happy, well-adjusted, fulfilled lives. So - feel free to tell everyone else to FO and be happy just to spite them.

2/20/2009 1:06 PM  
Anonymous apathy lounge said...

I thought a tortured childhood was a basic requirement for all good writers.

2/21/2009 6:22 AM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Elizabeth Gilbert was talking about the same kind of thing at TED:

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

2/21/2009 6:18 PM  
Anonymous clickmom said...

If you took out writer and inserted photgrapher you'd be talking about me. I think it's a creativity thing.

2/22/2009 8:06 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

So does this mean you're going to take up drinking gin at 8 in the morning? If so, give me a call and I'll join you.

2/22/2009 9:24 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Mamalujo, thanks. I think. One problem is all the good writer friends I have live in my computer. It'd help immensely for me to have some accountability, like through a writers' group.

Bob, you mean Steinbeck, one of my favorites. He creates the best characters, and I appreciate that you threw him out there. He seemed like he wasn't terribly disturbed and wrote about the experiences and people he absorbed in his formative years. Thanks.

AL, that better not be true, or else I'll be relegated to Preschool Newsletters for the rest of my writing career.

SueBob, I can't get it to load, but I'll keep trying.

Clickmom, funny, when I was writing this post I was thinking how photographers have it so much easier. I'm sorry. That was shallow thinking.

Teebs, no way! (Unless you replace gin with whiskey.)

2/23/2009 12:58 PM  
Blogger HeyJoe said...

Welcome to the club Mig. And I still like Hemingway even though he was unstable.

2/23/2009 1:54 PM  

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