Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Who the hell do we think we are?
We writers, we sit around acting like our writing is possibly the most important thing that could be done on the entire Earth ever. Earthquakes are rocking the East Coast. There's wars devastating countries from Libya to Afghanistan to places most never even think about or see on the news until someone makes a movie. The economy has been swirling around in the toilet for three years waiting for someone to finally flush us into the next Great Depression. Armageddon is basically staring us in the face, but to us writers, writing the next great American novel, a poem worth reading, or even our own freakin' memoir (talk about conceited) is "oh, so important" that we yell at our kids and spouses when they "just don't understand," we blog, tweet, and update our statuses with constant updates on "how the new project is coming along," and when we're struggling, when we can't think of how to get from point C to L without compromising the meaning of A or B, we retreat into the oldest, most pretentious excuse for lack of production ever conceived by humankind...
Writer's block. What the hell is that? Seriously? When Congress is faced with the toughest questions ever posed to the race of man on this Earth, and they get together and argue it out for months and come up with a compromise that pisses everyone off, we say they are a lazy, "do-nothing" Congress. But when we can't figure out how to have our protagonist steal from his mother without compromising his likability, we call it writer's block.
When Frodo and Sam were stuck on the side of Mount Doom, staring death, failure, and the end of all Middle Earth square in the eye--they hadn't eaten in days, had nothing to drink, and were weighed down with the burden of the single most evil fashion accessory ever to be spewed out of a black valcano of doom--did they sit around in their boxer shorts staring at Facebook and Twitter yelling at their wives to leave them alone while they "worked." No. No, they didn't. Even a fatass like Samwise Gamgee picked a dude up and hauled his ass up the side of a goddamn mountainside to destroy that mofo. That's getting something done. Writer's block my ass!
What about the soldiers risking their lives for our freedom. Think of those guys sitting there planning how to take down Osama bin Laden. Seems impossible right? Impenetrable fortress. Armed guards. No guarantee he's even in there. The only real sources of intel being some of the most despicable humans in the world. They tell us he's hiding in caves humping camels one day and that he's ordering Dominos in his bunny slippers in a mansion the next. What the hell? Give up, right? Forget that, right? Sit back and claim to have intelligence block or espionage block or international diplomacy block or whatever you want to call it, right? Hell's to the no! You fly a freakin' helicopter into his back yard, break down the goddamn doors, and shoot the bastard no matter which one of his wives tries to stand in your way. That's right. You get 'er done! Writer's block. Are you kidding me?
So, when you're sitting on your couch in your robe with fourteen different tabs open on Firefox, setting up your NFL fantasy football, reading book reviews of all the books on your "list" that you know you'll never get to, updating the world on your revolutionarily important progress on your flash fiction piece, sorting through your inbox full of agent rejections, and cataloging your internet porn while Microsoft Word is still open to the same page of your novel it was on three days ago, don't blame writer's block. Writer's block is not why you can't get your conflict to be complex or your character to be complex or your plot to be complex. It's because you're being fucking lazy. Close Firefox, retreat into the natural born creativity that's gotten you this far, think of all the people out there that can't afford to not work and blame whatever-it-is-they-do-for-a-living block, and write another chapter for crying out loud.
Writer's block, indeed!
Now that I've given you that inspirational kick in the pants, it would probably be a bad time for me to tell you I wrote this blog because I'm having writer's block working on my novel, right? Just asking.