Today's post title is a question we have to ask every once in a while because the unexamined book is not worth writing.
When I started this blog, I promised bouts of self-doubt. Well, you can’t say I don’t come through on my promises.
Life is getting in the way. I am getting in my way.
You ever just want to stop this novel and start a new one? I do right now. I want to divorce my novel for not being everything it vowed to be when we moved in together. I want to tell my novel what I really think of it. I want to leave my novel and find an out-of-the-way hammock where I can read and read and read, even though that just makes it worse. Reading is how all this writing trouble got started.
Do you know that some people get into writing to make money? I taught literature for a while. One of my students spoke up one day to explain that he didn’t think we should bother reading poetry because “those people only write that crap to get rich.”
I'll wait until you're done laughing. Go ahead. Take your time. OK. Ready? No? One more minute? Sure, okay. Now we can go on.
I've written about writerly disillusionment, feeling like an outcast, wondering if I have any talent at all, contemplating why I can’t just be satisfied with what I have, always searching/trying/wishing for something more--
What makes me/us do that?
Sometimes I think the urge to write may be a chemical imbalance.
Why can’t I be as cool as The Intern, or savvy as this book guy, or talented as Simone Elkeles, whose book I am devouring like mint chocolate chip ice cream? She makes it seem so effortless.
Update: For some reason, I burned under the misconception that Perfect Chemistry was Elkeles's first book, but she's got 5 others listed on her writer page. Makes me feel a little better. Literary phenoms upset my equilibrium.
More annoying thoughts: I’m not smart enough. I’m not good-looking enough. I’m not nice enough. I’m not skinny enough.
The crux: I am not enough.
The unbelievable truth: I am enough and gosh darnit, people like me.
Anyway, I am reading. I am not writing. What are you doing?