Friday, August 13, 2004

Process: A Dialogue

Must think of something good to say.


Come on, dude, you've been slacking off lately. A reader poll every once in a while is okay, but you really have been using it as a crutch. There are plenty of other bloggers who are putting out interesting and meaningful posts. Some of them even read your page on a semi-regular basis. You can do better than this. You're a sharp kid.

Think. Think.

Maybe some music will inspire you.


Music is too distracting. Turn it off.

Think. Lean back, sigh. Rub your eyes. Think.

Come on, this should be simple. You're the self-proclaimed writer. What do you care about? What's important to you?

"Lots of things, just nothing I want to talk about. Nothing they really care to hear about. Same old thing over and over. Memory, malaise, love, loss of love. Over and over. Like a broken record."

What's going on in your life? Man, come on, you have to have something going on.

"Not really. Just work. Church. Emails every once in a while. I need to write emails."

You need to post! Now get serious. There's got to be something useful in that idiot head of yours.

"I can't think of anything."


"I'm thinking."

Think. What to say?


What do you want to say to them?


What is your message?


That's it?

"That's all I've got right now."

That's not enough. There has to be more.

"There is no more."

Then make up something. You've got to be interesting, pal. You've got to be clever. You've got to be provocative without being too offensive. You have to appeal to their minds. You have to grip their hearts. If they keep seeing meaningless crap like this, they're gonna stop reading. And that's the point, isn't it? It was never really about self-expression. Self-expression is the means. Attention is the goal. Grab their attention and keep it. Don't let it go, don't dare! Don't let up. No matter how tired you are, no matter how empty. Keep writing. Keep cracking jokes and making references to pop trivia. Gotta keep performing, pal. Never let up, cuz they're fickle. They may be kind today, but tomorrow they won't have time or patience to suffer any more of this.

"Then should I just give up?"

Do you have anything more to show them?

"I think so, but I'm not sure."

Figure it out quick, kiddo, or you won't have to quit--you'll be done before you realize it. The counter will dry up. The crowds will disperse. You'll vanish back into the mists and the crowds and all the other boring bloggers cluttering up the Internet with their unseen blathering.

"I don't like you."

Tough beans, pal. You're stuck with me. I'm the voice in your head like a buzzing bee that you can't shoo away. I'm the monkey on your back, pushing you, weighing you down, driving you on and making you feel like crap for it. I'm the first critic to read every word you write, and I'm your most faithful reviewer. And I'm never leaving.

"I want you to leave me alone."

Sure--if you stop writing...


Spoken like a true writer. Too bad you don't have the credentials to prove it.

"I'll get that in time."

There is no time. Wake up! You're 23. The time is now. Wallace wrote "Infinite Jest" by the time he was, what, 21? Eggers did similar with his heart-breaking work. Dickens was already a smash-hit with Pickwick by this time. And you're tinkering around on a blog, saying that there's still time? Do you even want to be a writer?


Then do it. Write. Show me what you've got.

"I don't know what to say."

Come up with something.

Think, think, think.

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