27 August 2011

My Writing Demon

I wish I could get paid for reading. That would be awesome, and I would probably be moderately to amazingly more affluent than my current situation indicates depending on how much I would get paid per page. I imagine it would be comparable to those people that do the medical record transcription stuff from home, and while it's not more than maybe 15c a page, I could bank that shit away like a boss. I love to read, always have, and I constantly keep a rotation of at least 3 novels at all times. And I don't mean idiotic drivel meant to ensnare hormonal young girls or their desperately-seeking-validation-because-I'm-in-a-loveless-marriage-to-a-secretary-banging-manwhore mothers by perpetuating some farce that interspecies love is not only right, but life-alteringly beautiful and "deep." Nor do I mean I stock an insipid e-reader with the bestsellers list or a collection of pre-modern propaganda and philosophy because I simply must rail against the consumerist society through the ironic means of buying anything with a piece of chrome fruit affixed to its side. I mean honest to god paper and glue, tangible, wonderful smelling books. Currently, my rotation includes the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn, Dostoevsky's Demons, and Mentor: A Memoir by Tom Grimes.

Along with that, I read a lot of blogs as well. Some good, some bad. Many are funny on some level, either intentionally or because I have a twisted sense of humor, and a few provoke actual thought. And some, well if I'm being honest, I just started following at random for the hell of having something to read and they hold no particular spot in my heart or head. Recently, I came across one that has both proved humorous and made me think by way of appealing to my literary and alcoholic nature. And it really got me thinking about myself as well since the co-authors of the blog are both semi-professional(?) writers.

I have always been, in my own mind, somewhat of a writer either because I have something to say or simply because I can craft numerous words in a relatively short amount of time that makes sense on some level. While I am narcissistic, I'm not so much so that I think that everything I write is amazing, funny, or worth reading, but then I am my harshest critic as I think most writers are or have to be. For me, every word, each sentence, every paragraph or story needs to be as close to perfectly crafted as possible or it is a monumental failure. Perhaps that is why nothing I have ever written, save a couple poems in grade school and this blog, have ever been published in any true form. Usually I will bang out thousands of words in the course of a day or two, feel good about it, and then I read what I have and figure out where to take it. I write on impluse or at some impetus and don't actively have to think about what I am saying, it just materializes in my brain somewhere and out it comes (not unlike the way I speak).

Once I hit the point that words don't flow, I start to edit and critique and question exactly what it was I was trying to say in the first place. That, more than anything, is probably why much of what I write has a terrible conclusion. I spend far too much time doubting my premise or searching for a different word to sound more polished than I should, and when I try to wrap things up, as untidily as possible, it fizzles and sends me into a sneaky hate spiral that can derail my magical yarn train. Part of me then spends weeks festering in that seething, brooding hatred of what I have done that I start hating my mother for having grown up Catholic and passing on that sense of shame and guilt down to me.

I should really not bother with editing my words, I can find someone else to do that, but damn it all I like coherence and perfection too much to let it go. In my head the perfection of a piece of written word is like winning the US Open (any of them, just insert your favorite sport) and I'm a competitive motherfucker so I have to win no matter what. I'm like Charlie Sheen without the crazy. See? Even there, I couldn't stand that crass, culturally relevant but overused cliche and now all I can think of is a rant about how Charlie Sheen has ruined being able to draw out metaphors and similies about winning shit. Fucking Sheen, even when he isn't playing he fucking wins.

Then again perhaps my penchant for perfection, and my adept ability to articulate alliteration, is a strength. In fact, I think it is. If I were not so persnickety (finally I have worked that word into one of my posts), I wouldn't be a writer-esque person. If I just pounded the keyboard or scribbled with my pen and didn't care to notice structure, flow, or word choice, I would be no better than a Stephanie Meyer or any number of willfully ignorant dolts hu sp33k li3k d1s, or a kitten walking on a keyboard.

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