Writers Suck
Writers, writers, writers. When I first met Cinderella, I warned her that writers were a mangy and creepy bunch. She didn't believe me, but it's generally true. I have been lucky to have known a thousand fellow-travelers; don't get me wrong...many of them are wonderful, remarkable people. But you are like me, and you love the words and you love the writers of the words and you go out and find yourself stunned by the diva who gives orders that her limo driver and her assistants are not to address her directly for any reason. A writer who went to a fine reataurant in Santa Fe and threw a fit because her table was under a light, so that "fans" could spot her--making such a fuss, then leaving, that everyone in the place was sure to notice.

Here's what happens with some writers. You have this turtle-backed blowhard in a western city who feels competition between you. He makes pocket money writing anonymous reviews of books, and he always reviews yours with the same arch put-downs. Every book. That's funny. Kind of sad too, though--you'd like to send him an ant farm or a sea-monkeys set to distract him.

Or you have the former student who asks you to blurb his reasonably interesting book--then contacts you again after you've sent it, vaguely irritated that the blurb didn't contain more praise. He wants you to know it is not going on his book cover! Still, you laugh a little, thinking, wow, what a development. Or you get a request from somebody you haven't seen in ten years who you don't think really cares one way or the other what you think, but needs a "name" blurb on a book. So you agree, and get the thing, and send a praise-filled blurb (remembering the other crabbed small soul who didn't get enough praise)--and get a strange email complaining that you obviously didn't read the thing because you responded too soon. DOH!

Lots of writers hang with plumbers, cowboys, bikers, boxers, drunks, hookers, rock stars--anything but writers. I think we are fallible people, and we give the best we have to the page, and the folks around us get what's left. I don't think lots of writers follow a spiritual path or discipline in writing. Look, I'm an ego-maniac, too. But I subscribe to the madness that something outside, greater than me, is calling. It's no doubt my own vanity, when I want everyone to think it's God.

Trying to do not harm, trying to make something beyond my neuroses.

No writers today: I'm going over to eat hot dogs with the FBI guys. They don't want blurbs. They just want to know what's in my emails.

The Overworked King of Blurbage

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