Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beating Cancer

I've written about this before, and I'm saying it again (more to myself than anyone). The cure to the snarling critic on your shoulder telling you you're crap is called BIC. Butt. In. Chair.

You write through it. You work through the pain.

In my reminiscing about David Foster Wallace, I came across a Charlie Rose interview with him, Jonathan Franzen, and Mark Leyner (someone calls these wacky post-modernist types "word punks," which I love). Rose was asking them about the influence of the Internet on reading--how prescient this was, being 1996--and Leyner said he didn't really care that there might be a dwindling reading audience. In audacious fashion all three writers claimed that one must write for self first, an audience second. If you read any of these three writers, this point becomes abundantly clear.

Lesson learned (and will be re-learned and re-learned every time the cancer of inactivity and leach of self-esteem infects my mind).

Advice to myself:
Don't write what you think other people (i.e. agents and editors) want to read.

Stop trying to sound like someone else. Be yourself (advice I heard when I was sixteen and trying to get the prom queen to notice me).

Stop writing like you just finished some How-to book on how to be literary.

Lose the snobbish-ness. Write a good story. The rest is silence (Thanks, Hamlet).

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