Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm Not a Writer

I'm not a writer.

I've been trying for years to CALL myself one, to LIVE the life of a writer, to THINK like a writer, to BE a writer. But it isn't working. I can try harder, or I can accept the fact that it simply won't work. I'm not the next J.K. Rowling. I'm not even the next Barbara Cartland. My writing sucks.

I've been writing plays since I was six, but I'm not a playwright. I'm a thespian with quite a bit of theatre experience, but merely a fashioner of inane dialogue. My characters are sappy and lifeless, and they don't seem to accomplish anything while onstage. Boring, truly boring. My favorite genre, it seems, is "kitchen sink" drama, which most professional theaters specifically request not to read. I even have one full-length play that takes place in a kitchen. No joke. The whole play. And there's a sink. And people cook and clean and eat and drink tea in it. Just like a real kitchen. You can't get any more kitchen sink-ish than that.

I'm not a novelist, either, just a writer of very long, highly craptacular prose. It's awful, really, even after eleventy-seven revisions. Don't believe me? Just post your e-mail address in the comments, and I'll send you a sample. You'll believe me then.

And I'm not a poet. Sure, I can put some pretty images together, give them a bit of meaning. I can even rhyme poetry, too, though I avoid that as much as possible since the moment I start rhyming my poetry starts to sound like a toothpaste commercial. Don't worry, if you bother coming back here again (and you probably won't), I'll post some lovely samples of my best toothpaste-y sounding commercial/poems. Fabulous stuff. It'll make whatever you wrote at thirteen--you know, all that "Jenny broke up with me so I want to die" poetry?--look brilliant.

Realizing I'm not a writer is quite freeing. I don't have to make my query sound good anymore. Why bother, when the novel itself sucks? I can send out chapters without the angst. I can go through life without being disappointed when somebody hates what I've written. Of course they hate it, I'll be able to say. It sucks! What else were they supposed to do with it?

Even better, I can stop writing. Completely. No more writing. Except for some awful poetry, since it isn't really writing. And these blog posts. I've had all sorts of people tell me that's not really writing, either, so I can still do those. I can keep working on all that other crap, too, without the pressure of having to somehow miraculously make it not crap. I can even give all of you a few days a week to post your own crap. Yeah, that will make me feel better, to know that I'm not the only one who isn't really writing.

Not that you'll come. I mean, who would? So don't come back. You won't like it. Go find some encouraging blog to tell you that you'll make it some day if you keep working hard, that you just need to find the right agent, or not say stupid things in your query, or get the right beta readers.

But if you come back, don't whine. I told you not to. That you can't follow directions only means you're destined to suffer. As am I. If I see you here again, I'll just know you're hopeless.

Just like me.


  1. Why wouldn't I come back? It's not like you're discouraging me. Not that I haven't been there, reading my stuff and wondering why I ever did this.

    I have some stuff I could contribute to demonstrate even those of us who generally like our own work have some real stinkers in the mix.

  2. It was a weird trail through the ether that landed me here, but this is a great idea!

  3. Hilarious! Thankyou, you have brightened my day. I shall no longer call myself a writer either. Or feel guilty about writing plays set in kitchens. :-)

  4. Stephanie, I welcome the writing samples, but don't post your brilliant stuff just to show us all up. Crap is totally allowable, though, if you can dredge any of it up.

    So glad you found this, instanthubris! I'm off to see where you come from. I'd love to see you here again, especially if you have something awful to share.

    Michelle, so glad you found it cheery! And how much better to write without the pressure!

  5. Oh, I got crap. Real crap.

    Trust me.

  6. Cool. I look forward to reading your crap.