Writer’s angst with a bottle of scotch

bottle of scotch

Just a note: I wrote this after half a bottle of scotch and a bad head cold on New Years Eve but thought it was worth publishing in the cold light of day, if only for the cautionary tale of thinking too much about your writing and its purpose in the world…Don’t take it too seriously…

Calling all you literary zombie, cack-brained, dimwits of the writing world.

Like so many of the writing greats who have gone before, you grind out the days performing menial and meaningless tasks (maybe you work in a call centre, maybe you shovel doggie doo’s in the park) whilst spending all your free time writing the next great novel to wow the world.

You dream of being Dostoevsky or Dickens or even Clive-I’ve-Lost-The-Plot-Cussler.
But, hey, listen. You’re a filing clerk. Okay, you have a hobby. You like to write. As hobbies goes, it’s harmless enough.

But you, yes you… you dream of it being something greater. Don’t you? Really? Sure you do.

Bad news though, my literary genius, it’s no use, you’re no different from those people who make their own cards, crochet beer mats, run ten miles for charity, or spend their Sunday afternoons trainspotting. You’re really just filling in time and trying to make yourself feel worthwhile.

Oh, and did I tell yah?

What you do means something/nothing

Listen bud, there are 203 billion zillion creatures pottering around on this big rock, so the chance that you are going to make a definite impact with your writing, or even get yourself noticed for just a few hours on News 24 because you pulled your pants down and mooned the Queen, are pretty remote.

What you do means nothing.

People might say: Oh my God, he/she is the greatest writer who ever lived and the world might suddenly get on a roll and even begin to believe it. I mean, like the billions and billions of fecked in the head morons who still believe the greatest band ever was the Beetles when every sane person knows Wings were so much better…but come the next supernova, when we all get blown to smithereens, it’ll all just be ash on the breeze.

No one’s going to care that much by then are they?

Ashes to ashes. Dust to Dust.

Let me ask you a question: How many words are written every day? Across the world, how many people are typing or scribbling away inconsequentially every minute? How many fecking vampire stories are there out there or clones of the Lord of the fecking Rings? How many people are reading, from exit signs to Shakespeare? All those evil, pesky little words are jumping around on pages, in people’s heads, being flashed up on fecking advertising boards. Little cryptic fecking messages that just make your damn head hurt.

And does it mean anything? Does it?

Of course not. Writing is the Devil’s greatest invention (aside from TV but that’s another story).

It’s all bollocks. We sit around and nod wisely and write pseudo-sage comments on how George Orwell’s 1984 changed how we think about the world. Or how Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever. But, at the end of the day, we know deep in our hearts, that it’s all just a bunch of cliché riddled old kack that doesn’t much amount to a hill of beans in this mad, mad, mad world…it’s just stuff that keeps rolling over and over and fecking multiplying until it’s just one big mass of CACK.

So, you may have guessed, I’m feeling quite optimistic about my writing future.

Is it true that you should always endeavour to be good? I’ve spent most of my life “endeavouring” and then some guy comes past in the fast lane, laughing like a Doppler loon, having just fucked his dog and blown up the local Asda with a fertiliser bomb.

Who the hell said it was right and proper to sit around and be nice to people all the time?

I mean, hell, how many episodes of Family Guy can a sane man watch without eating his own pants and fingering his dweeb through a set of festering human skin gloves whilst wearing something fetching from Ann Summers.

I gelled my hair the other day. I’m too old to gel my hair. Okay, I had a reason to do it – nothing to do with vanity or a sudden need for sartorial elegance. I woke and my hair was all over the place and I forgot and went out and then I caught sight of myself in a window and…hey, I panicked okay! I bought some gel.

Some…wetlook gel.

Did I think that was going to somehow make it better?

Don’t be afraid…

The New Year does this to me. Whilst others are making resolutions to write more, to get that book published, to bungie jump naked live on YouTube or something equally banal, I’m sitting thinking why I don’t just drink myself to death and get it over with.

Everything is pointless people. Everything.

Writing is utterly pointless.

But don’t worry, my fellow literary geniuses, it won’t last long.

It’s a phase, may last a couple of days or even a couple of weeks. Then I’ll be back at the PC, typing away to my heart’s content.

Because, after all, what else is there to do until that big old supernova comes crashing over the land and turns us to dust.

And it could be worse. I could be an angst ridden trainspotter…

Have you fallen into the writing pit of despond? If so, share your experiences in the comments section below…

8 thoughts on “Writer’s angst with a bottle of scotch

  1. Ziggy, train spotters have hidden depths…. sex intrigue, lies – all come to mind from experience… you would not believe what goes on in the world of trainspotters. Agatha Christie did all right train wise. lol. Anyway, just a thought. You see they hide it all under their macs. Literally. I can’t believe I’m writing this! But believe me when they say the quiet ones are the worst, ITS SOOOH TRUE.

  2. I apologise to trainspotters everywhere…except maybe Crewe

  3. It would be worse: what if you did crochet beer mats? Pubs are finding the recession hard; many are closing down. Even if you did find one who wanted your mats you’d have to find some way to get the daily beer and wine stains out. Write. It’s less painful in the long run.

  4. I do truly understand. We writers are fraught. It’s in our nature. This is why I’ve found it so important to have other writer-friends and a spouse who more or less understands my “artistic temperament”. That way I have people to talk me in from the ledge when I feel like posting things like this. 🙂

  5. Well, you made me smile over my coffee, and surely thats worth something? I felt sincerely touched and will be taking appropriate action forthwith…everything we do is a bit pointless and thats what makes it so fantastic about it…being significant, respected or important sounds awfully stressful, quite nice to be the fluff sometimes ;->

  6. What fun would the writing life be if it didn’t resemble a roller coaster? Of course, all that whooshing up and down does leave one with an upset stomach on occasion. But it’s worth it just for the occasional rush. I think writers are all adrenaline junkies, in a sense. We live for that high.

  7. I’d rather read a heartfelt rant like this rather than writing tips any day of the week. Sorry you’re feeling down in the dumps. Would it help you to know I admire your short stories very much? I try not to feel like this. My secret, I think, is truly believing this writing-thing is just a hobby. I have no dreams of becoming a published author. I don’t want something I enjoy to become a competition where I am destined to lose. Real-life already sucks the soul out of you – damned if I’m gonna let the world take away my enjoyment of writing.

  8. I shall continue with my heartfelt rants then…if it’s okay with y’all 🙂

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