Fsirt Sopt

Hi. I’m writing a novel.

Well, who isn’t? I mean, what’s more prosaic than working on a book?1 Everyone fancies themselves a writer.

And, well, aren’t they right? It may be ripe for mockery, it may make one vulnerable to admit…but it shouldn’t. To be human is to be storyteller. To live is to possess worthwhile experiences, and these can be drawn upon to tell our stories.

I guess I’m sick of the gatekeeping and the shame. Are you alive? Ok. You’re in. You’re a writer.

“But if they can’t tell their stories well, they’re not worth reading, and certainly not worth publishing,” you counter. Well, I’ve read a lot of books that didn’t seem worthy of publication, or popularity, or wealth, or fame.2 It doesn’t seem like there are any particular requirements for publication beyond persistence and luck. And, as I noted in my about, even phenomenal talents can receive their share of snubs. So rejection isn’t even a disqualification. It’s just part of the process.

Ok. Now that I’ve done my part to normalize the pastime, let’s start over. Hi, I’m —. I’m writing a novel.

Uh-oh. I’m writing anonymously? What happened to that big talk about “everybody is a writer!”?

Yeah, yeah, I know. I didn’t do such a good job “normalizing” the practice, did I? I’m a big hypocrite.

Only my best friend and my wife know what I’m up to, and I only told the latter so she’d know where I disappeared for eight hours at a stretch. I mean, I could have come up with a respectable excuse, like nursing a gambling addiction or doing coke with hookers but, no, I decided to be honest. Me and my fucking principles.

Right. Ok. Maybe I am a little cynical about the whole thing. I tried to keep a stiff upper lip but, let’s face it, writing is agony. I only do it to face my demons. I am compelled to do it lest my…my inner compulsions tear me apart from the inside. So, yeah, I would rather be playing videogames right now. Anything but working on my book.

So, hi. I’m writing a novel. I have to.

Only that’s not true, either, is it? I’m not writing a novel right now. I’m building a blog and writing this post. Anything to avoid the misery that is eking out a few words an hour. So I simultaneously have to write and will do anything I can to get out of it. This blog, this meta-writing, is maybe just sufficiently novel-adjacent that I can quiet the demons and also not suffer through the task they’ve put to me.

Right. All that’s out of the way. I’m writing a freaking novel, ok? And you don’t know me, but if I ever finish and get published you will. And in the meantime I’m just trying to keep myself sane.

  1. 1.Catch the entendre? Oh, yes, that’s the sort of wit you can expect here.
  2. 2.Wait, “popularity” and “fame” are redundant. I’m, errr, being repetitive for emphasis. Yeah, that’s it…