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Just one guy's quest to unlock the mysterious art of storytelling on screen.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Writing Hates You

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Writing is death.

Writing robs you of life.  It literally sucks the life from you.  It's a fat, slurping, pulsing leech hooked into your jugular day and night.  Every hour spent hunched on a chair at the keyboard shortens your lifespan.  Studies prove it.  Sitting for long periods wrecks your circulation, raises cholesterol, and shortens your lifespan.  Five years, ten years -- your love of writing will surely punch your ticket way sooner than designed.

Writing is killing you just as surely as smoking, drinking, or parking yourself on the couch for hours and hours a day.

Writing means ignoring the real world.  Writing disconnects you from reality.  It's a solitary exercise, a long journey into oneself.  The trip commences when you enter a cold black tunnel.  You wait for the light to return but, after many miles, you finally realize this tunnel never ends.

Writing dissolves friendships and strangles new ones, because a writer must give up social activities and instead sit that butt in that chair and pound that keyboard.  Writing demands you pull the blinds on every window, lock every door, switch off every light.  Writing hates sound.  Writing hates light.  Writing hates LIFE.

But most of all, writing hates YOU.

It knows you're not good enough.  Writing is every disapproving parent of every girlfriend or boyfriend you've had and will have.  Writing wants you to fail.  Writing throws every obstacle in your path to make you stumble and fall and look like an idiot in the process.  Writing watches you gleefully, laughs when you fail, and is already planning the next speed bump, the next pot hole, the next detour.

People who aren't writers think writers have it easy.  They think writers pay no price for the glory of fame and fortune.  After all, writing costs nothing, right?  Words come free.  No visit to the store to restock.  No relying on other people to perform their small task in the big project.  Non-writers believe all a writer does is think it and write it.  Anyone can write.  Anyone can think.  How hard can it be?

Writing is death, that's how hard it can be.  And it should be the first thing taught in English class.  Etched in white chalk on that blackboard: WRITING IS DEATH.  WRITING HATES YOU.

There should be rehab for writers.  I'd go.  Six weeks later I'd throw open those doors and emerge a beautiful butterfly, newly thankful for the warm sunshine and the cool summer breeze and the sweet scent of a million flowers.  I'd join my butterfly brethren and we'd flit and frolic, love and laugh and...

I'd kill myself.

I don't want to be a butterfly.  I don't want the light.  I want the dark.  I want the emptiness.  I want the nothingness.  I want a void I can fill.  I want the absence of life so I can create life.

Writing hates me.  I want writing to hate me.  I don't want friends.  I want a nemesis.  There's no challenge without one.

Writing is death.  It can be no other way.  Only through death can stories come to life.


CODA: For anyone less enthusiastic about the "embrace sweet writing death" philosophy, go ahead and raise your desk to standing height, get yourself a writing partner, and enjoy your extra decade of productivity, you beautiful butterfly.