Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator

The art wants what it wants, dude

“Fatso,” people sometimes ask me, “You dreamed that someday you would grow up to be a professional writer, and now you have. In what way is your career at variance with those one-time boyhood dreams, Fatso? Eh? Huh? Come widdit, Fatso.”

I usually respond with the list below, as well as an admonishment that there is no practical need to call me Fatso three times within a single interrogatory paragraph.

- I thought that I would be a writer full-time, and not have a day job also. In fact, I have done this, but constantly teetering on the brink of poverty when things are slow is a lot less appealing than it was when I was 24.

- I do not, as I thought I would, sit in front of a typewriter all day chain-smoking. Instead, I sit in front of a computer monitor all day chain-drinking.

- My friends are not all sparkling academics who drop bon mots like leaves from an autumn tree. Just most of them.

- I am not married to a sexually rapacious ex-poet, and we do not live in a rattletrap New England manse on the coastline. I live in a duplex in San Antonio and my wife is a huge cockroach.

- Editors have, in the course of my career, valued me less for my daring post-modernist fiction and my uniquely rigorous philosophical insights and more for my knowledge of produce inspection methods and my ability to think of something funny to say about Avenged Sevenfold.

- Not as valued as you might think: being a good writer. Much more valued than you could ever imagine: meeting deadlines.

- I receive a large share of my income from two groups I did not anticipate being so preeminent amongst my clients: businessmen and pornographers.

- Norman Mailer did not live long enough to be defeated by me in a fistfight. I always thought that I’d go first.

- I guess it would be untrue to say that I fantasized about sleeping when I was a lad with a big dream of becoming a writer. But I will say that, had you asked me, I would have said yes, I suppose I will sleep, when that day comes. Nope, I was wrong about that.

- I never thought that I would someday be bylined as a “content provider”. But I’d always dreamed!

- All in all, I am very happy with my career as a professional writer, although it is very different than I dreamed and it turns out that thinking up ideas for books is a lot easier than writing them, and writing them is a lot easier than selling them. Also, my name is not Fatso. I wish editors would stop using it in their correspondence.

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