Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What I Stole From Libba Bray

(oh, Libba Bray, I love you.)

"The Ever-Popular I Suck Playlist

One of the things that continues to surprise me about the writing life is how bloody impossible it can seem at times....

....Usually, I get a sense that this is about to happen because I become agitated and completely avoidant. I will whimper and pace the way dogs do before a bad storm. There will be a few days, maybe a week or two, sometimes even a month, in which the writing feels terribly stilted. False. Awful. The equivalent of small talk at a party where you don’t know anybody and you can’t leave yet because somebody else is driving, and so you just have to keep standing in the corner holding on to your sweating seltzer glass saying, “Really? How interesting. I did not know that about elephants.”

I hate this part. Hate it. These are the days when I come home with the comic book dark cloud scribbles over my head, and when my husband asks me how the writing’s going, I sigh and press my head against my palms and moan, “Terrible. I can’t figure this thing out. I don’t know anything about writing books. You have to tell them I don’t know how to write books. The last five books were a fluke, and now it’s over. Over, I tell you. I’m so sorry. I tried. I have to go watch The Simpsons now.”

If this part of the writing process were an iPod track list it would look like this:

Track #1: I Suck
Track #2: I’m Not Smart Enough to Write This Book
Track #3 No, This Is Different
Track #4: Maybe I Could Become a Firefighter/Gravedigger/Finger Puppeteer
Track #5: I Suck, Parts IV-VIII
Track #6: Why Can’t I Write Like (Fill in Blank)?
Track #7: This Doesn’t Happen To (Fill in Blank)
Track #8: Will You Help Me Fake My Death/It’s the Only Way/My Life in a Storage Unit Medley
Track #9: I Suck (Extended Dance Remix)
Track #10: What Was I Thinking?
Track #11: This Is Hopeless! (DJ Flail ‘N’ Whine Mix)
Track #12: So Overwhelmed I’m Underwater
Bonus Track: Also, I Hate My Hair"

AMEN TO THAT. It's So. Ridiculously. True.
Thank you, Libba Bray, for making my life a better place.

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