Okay, you were warned, right? This isn’t Deep Thoughts Theater here. Just gonna be another post about writing about writing. That’s not a typo. I’m writing about writing about writing because I have reached meta levels of writing. About writing. This is writeception.
And yet, why do I write about writing? Let’s be honest. Nobody actually wants to read another fucking post about writing. Or even about writing about writing. It’s lazy as fuck is what it is. It’s my go-to subject, my grab bag of editorial anecdotes. Sure, I can’t really talk about editing other people’s writing, but I can talk about my own. And I can use my own writing as a paper doll of other people’s work and talk about my editing process, why I changed my font (don’t page back through posts, y’all, I didn’t), or why I don’t use strikeout. Confession: I’d use strikeout if I could get it working right with this theme or I wasn’t too goddamn lazy to go in and edit the HTML and make it happen. Used once in a while, it’s not actually that twee. Just don’t do it all the time.
Look, there I went. I wrote about your writing while ostensibly writing about my writing. But the other option is to go down the hellmouth of how hard it is to write, how you feel driven to do it, how you just have to keep pushing on. Only it’s not actually that hard, obviously.
There’s an ant on my arm. Fuck you, ant. Die.
See? I just wrote about that ant. Hell, I could write an ant sonnet. Want to see? I’ll set the timer. It’s 4:34pm now.
This ant that climbs so merrily along
my arm and moves through forests of my hair
will never understand what it’s done wrong
or why I crush and smear it. And if where
the ant assembled all his rushing feet
still itches and distracts me time to time
I’ll pay that price, it seems both fair and meet
To let the ghost ant still complete his climb
But with his blood still fresh upon my hand
It’s hard to simply go on with my day
And was it really so much to demand
That I should let him pass along that way?
Alas, Poor Yorick Ant, had you but thought
That climbing me would leave you a red spot.
It’s 4:43. Nine minutes. It’s not actually hard to write.
It’s hard to write something good. And you can’t write something good by writing about how hard it is, but by writing things that hurt. Things that bleed and cut you open. Things that you’re not sure belong on a page but here they are spilling out of you and you can’t tell yet if you’re proud of them, these awkward abortions of words, if they might like pinion-stubbled birdlings grow into something, or if a year from now you’re going to cringe at them like you cringe at the handwriting in your fifth-grade notebook, the one where your stories had such a proliferation of characters that you had to go all George RR Martin on them to get the story back to a manageable size.
Just me? Okay.
So instead, you write about writing. And then you write about writing about writing. So here’s your lesson for today: Nobody wants to read another goddamn post about writing. Write the fucking thing that hurts.