The last time we spoke, which was this Tuesday, I believe, I was on a path to stardom fueled by the sweet embrace of heroin. I’ve run out of heroin, and as I’ve discovered, the only thing worse than failed stardom is failed stardom with massive heroin withdraw. Who would have known that donning a skin-tight spandex suit, learning four chords on the bass guitar, and pumping my veins so full of Moroccan candy that I got addicted wouldn’t guarantee me a place in the rock and roll hall of fame?
So I’m back at the keyboard, putting one word in front of the other. And it’s not going so well this week.
It happens. You get into a rut. Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to my writing group about writing comedy. I started off with a joke that fell flat, but the rest of the presentation went pretty well. I made a pretty bold claim near the beginning, though. I said writing, like all other art forms, is created to evoke an emotional response, which are pretty big words for a guy who’s a recovering heroin junkie. Whether it’s writing, or painting, or sculpturing, or making music, the point of these things is to stir something in your peers.
Writing is kinda different. Sure, writing can stir things in people, but it’s a delayed gratification. It takes a while to read a novel. If you hear a song, it’s connecting to you right away. The second those sound waves start rattling the bones in your ear and your brain starts translating the waves to the beats, your butt starts to shake and you’re connected to the primal beast in your soul. If you see a painting, your eyes instantly devour it, the colors and shapes and textures of the paint hitting your noggin immediately.
Put it this way. We’re having a party, and it is off the chain. I mean, drinks are flowing, I’ve got a crazy spread going, and everyone is having a good time. I’ve brought three of my friends to this party; The Handsome Musician, The Stunning Painter, and The Sexy Writer. They show up, and they each start doing their own thing.
The Handsome Musician sees my guitar in the corner and heads over. He picks it up and starts playing some sweet riffs. His riffs are crunchy as all sin. The people around him start to gravitate towards him. Men nod in agreement. The women look at him doe-eyed. He’s not paying attention. His eyes are closed and he’s lost in the moment. Once he’s done, he receives a small amount of applause. The dude doesn’t even have to tell people he’s a musician.
The Stunning Painter heads over to the snack table and gets himself one of my tasty hors d’oeuvres. A cute lady approaches, which is a bit of a letdown for my painter friend as he’s gayer than springtime. No matter, he’s a gentleman through and through. She asks what he’s been up to recently. He replies that he’s been painting. Before she has time to ask, he whips out his phone and proceeds to show her his work. Her breath is taken away. His work, even though it looks better in real life, is still amazing over the tiny pixel screen.
The Sexy Writer bee-lines it for the bar. He pours himself a scotch, neat. He downs it almost instantly and pours himself another one. He scours the room, somehow looking at everyone but managing to avoid eye contact with anyone. He sticks himself up in the corner and hopes he can drink in peace. He’s approached by a heavy-set man.
“Hey, you’re Sexy Writer guy, Mr. Charlton’s friend. How’s it going this evening?”
Sexy Writer guy tries to look somewhere else. “It’s going.”
The heavy-set man laughs. “It certainly is GOING, isn’t it friend? Tell me, do you have any hobbies?”
The Sexy Writer looks down at his feet as he mumbles. “I write…”
“I’m sorry, my hearing isn’t what it used to be. What did you say you do for fun?” the heavy-set man says as he leans in closer.
The Sexy Writer sighs. “I write.”
The fat man nods. “Really? Do you have anything published?”
Something snaps in the Sexy Writer’s mind. He grabs an empty beer bottle on the table, smashes it and holds it up to heavy-set man’s throat. He speaks, but his voice is high-pitched and shrill, like that of a maniac.
“Am I Published? AM I PUBLISHED?!?! No one asked the HANDSOME Musician if HE’S landed a recording deal, no one questioned whether or not the Stunning Painter had his artwork in the LOUVRE, and you want to know if I’m PUBLISHED?”
Before anyone can react, the Sexy Writer turns the broken glass on himself, stabbing himself repeatedly in the neck. Once again, my party is ruined.
The moral of the story is that writing is hard, and can be sometimes kinda thankless. If you’re going to write, you gotta do it for yourself. And hopefully, you won’t murder yourself at one of my parties.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. Anyime I have writers block, I write about writing. Kinda like jacking off for a scribe.
p.s.s. Most readers don’t get feedback, but I get tons of feedback from wonderful people like you, so pat yourselves on the back.