Shit I Don’t Like About Writers & Writing

Posted by @ 10:20 am on October 27th, 2010

– Hearing the words “writer,” “reading,” “poem,” “poet,” “the author of,” etc. more frequently than should any human regardless of his or her particular fondness, hobby, or paid work
– Ego, and reflection of ego onto others’ actions because the nature of ego is often that one can only see one’s self in another self
– The absence of self identity that seems to come along with so many of the more flagrant perpetrators of said ego, giving them even more excessive ability to flaunt said ego without losing any sleep
– Twitter and facebook feeds of writers who think about these “tools of social media” as personal sales pitches aimed at you, the “friend,” often unrelenting in their use of the terms of the 1st list item and w/o any form of layering of else that might lead you to believe they are an actual person
– “Tortured” updates on same social networks over how “crazy” today or tomorrow is going to be while editing or writing
– People who retweet Kanye West
– Kickstarter and other similar fundraising systems, which somehow have quickly become the means for acquisition of literary food stamps, even if a lot of people I like have used it to do some cool shit
– The simultaneous bent of many personalities or commentmakers to go on about how evil, ugly, mean, nasty, etc. in general negative or shitty a certain outlet is, matched with an equal to less bent of also complaining that things are “too positive” or “you forgot to include me” when said person or entity has made little to no effort to “get involved” on their own end
– How almost no writer ever has done a good job writing about what it is like to be obese
– How many writers are atheists and yet are proud of themselves as creators
– How the writers who are christian usually suck at writing
– How there are so many books now I can’t think
– How I’ve been reading so many of those books that I seriously am finally starting to get carpal tunnel from holding them up while on the stationary bike and from all this silly typing
– How I don’t quite have enough books now to build a new house out of them so I can sell the place I live in now and get out of this loft complex and live somewhere quieter
– When people don’t mention that their ‘is the author of’ refers to a chapbook, or call chapbooks books, or say chapbook out loud near me at all really
– When chapbooks cost $10 even though they might cost $2 to make most of the time
– People who “won’t read” chapbooks even tho some of them do some amazing shit a full book couldn’t really ever do
– Web magazines who have so little design skill that it actually hurts me more to not look at them than to look at them because I know the damage they are doing to all aura and yet people still submit to them and bitch about their slow response times
– Print magazines that look like they were designed in 1991 by someone who had bad taste even then
– Anyone who bitches about response times ever, usually signifying that they’ve never worked a day on the side of the editing table or even volunteering or trying to pay for the books that sit on the tables often unselling and just trying to break even and hardly reading anyway
– How proud people are of celebrities who talk about a book, like it’s some winged beast descending to kiss their face
– How at least a handful of people will hold this against me at least in a comment and think I think my shit doesn’t stink because I said any of this or that I hold myself to some other standard or that I think I’m special when really I’m just hanging out like anybody else I just sometimes will run my mouth and I like to think I have a lot of faith even when I bitch and this is all a big try
– People who pimp their social state of having or not having on either end, trying to justify lack thereof or surplus because someone has this or that or doesn’t have this or that or went here or there or didn’t or wanted to and didn’t and etc., as if anyone needs to or doesn’t need to experience anything or not anything to write a word down on paper and have it be something, as if those with money can’t think, as if those without money can’t think, as if everyone’s out to kill you because you are male female black white red candy sugar sandwich
– Gmail chat status updates that change every few hours
– Gmail chat’s winking box that goes back and forth until you click it and look at who said what even if you are on invisible and were trying to ignore the thing entirely but don’t have the balls to just log the fuck out
– People who don’t mind saying flagrant things about what other people say or do but won’t do anything flagrant on their own or outside the realm of people who will back them up
– People who think that because you made something that must mean you have to have it or you worship it or yourself for having had it or that you are out for glory in every move
– People who only ‘Like’ or comment on things when it involves something about them
– People with no sense of humor and/or who can’t laugh at themselves
– People who never get crunk
– People who can’t bite their tongue and smile and have a delicious sandwich enough
– People who don’t see more good than bad in a thing that is otherwise devoid of most or all social merit and is performed by people who just like what they do
– “How’s your book doing?” / “How’s the book?” / “How are sales?”
– “What are you reading tonight?” / “How was the reading?”
– Online invitations to readings more than 100 miles from my home
– Online invitations to readings between 10 and 99 miles from my home
– Online invitations to readings down the street from my home
– Thinking about readings
– Readings where it costs money to get in unless you get something cool for coming in because it’s a special occasion or at least some free booze, but really I can buy my own booze
– People who read for more than 5-7 minutes when there are more than 4 readers
– Readings where there are more than 4 readers
– People who at least sometimes don’t just shut the fuck up and come to the reading and enjoy themselves because usually it’s not so bad and sometimes can be really wonderful
– Readers who make no effort to make it wonderful
– The idea that readings should be either funny or sexy
– New York
– Stories involving relationships, sex, dialogue, magical animals, magic at all really that presents itself as magic, metaphor that presents itself as metaphor, metaphor at all really, party scenes, band scenes, scenes that connect the dots, scenes that pretend like they aren’t connecting the dots, exposition I could have figured out on my own, stories about illness that are actually about the illness and don’t have shit in them, dick jokes that don’t involve the dick being slathered or crushed
– Celebrities writing fiction without having put as much work into the writing as any other writer and magazines or writers who pander to those people anyway because it sells and it’s not that bad but it’s not doing anybody good or maybe it really is but the writing still is nothing special but maybe it is
– Not giving someone the benefit of the doubt
– Pretending you have no heroes
– Really having no heroes
– That Juicy J has yet to sit down and write a novel
– People who’ve read a lot in the past and so are well read but really haven’t read much of anything contemporary unless it was free and yet who have all this time to write
– People who ever act like they don’t know you even if they don’t particularly care for you presence unless you like killed their parents or touch their wife or child or something weird
– People who say dreams shouldn’t be in fiction
– Dreamlike fiction that is impressed with its dreamlikeness
– People who find people who will listen to their dreams because sometimes dreams are great but then go way overboard milking the dreamspeak time and smiling a lot with a facial expression that would be the exact same if no one else was in the room
– Similes that make total descriptive sense
– Any writer who has ever said “my fans” except for Stephen King & Jewel
– Editors who sign their emails “Editor of ____” after their name, especially when it’s not just the watermark stamp or whatever you call the auto shit in email
– Editors who specify “Editor in Chief” : what is this, the Daily Planet?
– Editors who think they know better, and thus can overrule, the author, unless that’s actually true
– Writers who never ever think the above is true and would never even think about the idea to see how it feels
– Anyone who has a moral or an idea or point
– Anyone “really funny” unless they are also “real as fuck”
– “Causes”
– Fake evil
– People who turn their nose up with their first book manuscript at the idea of a small press because “they want to make money” as if more books can’t be written and more ground covered
– People who can’t follow easy guidelines because they don’t think outside their shell of how the system operates for them
– The idea “I don’t revise because I try to think about it and get it right the first time” as if you can’t improve even more on that
– Thinking too harshly about anyone else’s process because that’s the way they do what they do and the stakes are so low, just keep it to yourself unless someone asks
– People who don’t buy or talk about or think about magazines unless they are in them
– Books with big or ugly fonts
– Books with no gutter margin [publishers! look at the fucking book! does it look good? you might want to double check! get a second opinion anyway, and not from your blind granny! go find some hipster douchebag you’d normally like to sock in the gizzards, at least they have a little aesthetic taste]
– How there are never free sandwiches at readings
– Poems with numbered sections and the reading of those numbered sections where the number is enunciated and then paused after, or even worse when they put up their fingers to show the numbers because they think saying it is lame
– The way sometimes people so deftly articulate the name of a press as if they are pooping a porcelain orb out of their mouth
– The “Mmmm” people / The overlaugh people
– Dressing up to read unless you’re Tim Jones-Yelvington
– The “I read my shit already, I’m out” people
– Caring what order you read in
– Experimental concepts in performance used to distract from the actual words or something about them
– The long slow sip from the waterglass with eyes rolled toward the god they do not believe is there
– Trying too hard to be gross or controversial without some kind of language or other payoff beyond just heyhey!
– People who refer to themselves in third person online (whereas, comparatively, in person I’m almost okay with it)
– Days and days passing in front of this machine
– Days and days passing refreshing the same websites all throughout those days
– Knowing that I really do like and need those websites even though they rarely seem to change
– How fucked I feel when any site I regularly correspond with or keep open go down even for a few minutes
– Talking about the internet
– Talking about life
– Pretending like you hate talking about writing when you really love talking about writing
– Talking
– Thinking
– How so many days I don’t know why I write. How I really mean that and am not trying to sound melodramatic. How I was at a bar the other night with some people talking about this, and there seemed to be a consensus that writing happens because it just does, that it comes out of you because it’s just in there and it’s an impulse, and you don’t really choose to do or not do. How I don’t even know if I believe that though I used to though now it seems wrong too. How I imagine I could commit myself with as much zeal to something else, and yet I’m such a creature of habit it is the decision to have remained in this childish and selfish place for so long that is the one that has in my blood become ingrained. How that’s okay. How that often makes me a meaner person in general, a more difficult person to be around, towards my family, towards people not at all involved in writing. How that’s not okay. How days keep going by and it’s easy to pretend they aren’t to feel better and so that becomes down. The attachment to the method: daily, like flesh, like how I can’t even relax and go eat Mexican food or hang out and chill with someone cool if I haven’t done the thing for long enough or know I’ll get to later on. How it makes me almost inoperable in certain kinds of interactions. How I’ve seen in the past 3-4 years a kind of lurking in me that was more and more dead set on spending time in silence, as much as I could have it. How any day I don’t get that now is automatically bad day. How it brings me solace and pleasure, all in aloneness. How I find myself googling cult leaders and suicide methods and other stuff that the government has surely brought as reason to flag my IP, if they really do that, all out of some weird self-destructive mode in me that is more than anything angry at myself, angry for being in the midst of something that so locks me out to the pleasure of mostly anything else. How this doesn’t make I love writing any less, how in its best moments I’m uplifted, even knowing spending so much time in the process of trying to be positive and spreading and uplifting, I’ve kind of whitewashed my way into this place where I feel like there’s no longer a way out. How that by now I couldn’t ever even wish for a way out, that’s so gone. How I’m okay with that, and that’s a way.
– What do I not like about writing? Anything beyond keeping moving forward while trying to stay happy, passionate, and chill.

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