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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The email that lives in my brain

May you never have occasion to mail this card. But just in case...
I'm a "writer" (please indulge me), so I'm usually sure I'm either about to pen a life-changing bestseller or that I'm a total fraud and everyone talks about it behind my back. "I just can't bring myself to tell her. It's almost embarrassing at this point."

Some days, it's hard to write anything anywhere, especially in an instance where someone is actually paying me, because of the thundering doubt clattering around in my uninspired psyche. On the worst days, I'm relatively sure everyone is getting together to craft an email like this:

Dear "Cincy Sarah" (if that's your real name),

Today, I had the displeasure of coming across your "blog" (if that's what you want to call it). Well, let me just say that I want my money back. This waste of space is part of What Is Wrong with America. YOU are What Is Wrong with America. 

Specifically, I found your description of this thing you did to your children reprehensible. If I could figure out how to spell Cinsinnaty Cinnamonity Cincinaty, I would report you to the proper authorities. Of course, your "city" (if that's what you call that dump) is probably a little too preoccupied with frozen turkeys falling from the sky and murder, so it would likely be a lost cause. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Someone Like You would come from Somewhere Like that. 

Your cheese-coney-horfing children are doomed no matter what I do, anyway.

Still. The least you could do is keep your nonsense inside, tucked away next to those obscene daydreams about Axl Rose and Bon Jovi (newsflash: that is weird and you are old). Instead, here you are, prattling on about nonsense no one cares about, clogging up my Google searches with inane "commentary" about any number of ideas, all of which have already been discussed more thoroughly and more eloquently 1,100 times.

Do us all a favor and just quit already. We hate you. All of us. 

Sincerely,

The Internet

Yeah, it's pretty much like that sometimes. It's only a little heartening to read about successful, beloved writers describe the shadowy doubt that still creeps in on them from time to time. For one thing, this tells me that even at the upper echelon of this career ladder, dread and insecurity still creep in (I suppose that's an inevitability no matter what you do, which is just more depressing). For another, I'd be more likely to find $6 million lying in the street in front of my house than to become a truly successful author, so it just means that if I keep writing, I'll get all the fun of writer's block, self-loathing, and panicked stress but without the fame and fortune. Whee?

I think this whole mess is why I'm most excited about the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop next week. I know other writers who suffer from this disease, the one that compels you write even though it's a gut-wrenching, terrifying process at least 40% of the time, and I find it so energizing and reassuring to be around other writers who get it. Not that I'm not about to puke at the mere thought of meeting a bunch of strangers. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to focus on all my Brene Brown mantras, probably make a spectacle of myself in Dayton, miss my children for 3 days, and hopefully, come back wiser and more diseased than ever.

The writing disease, you perv, although hey, what happens in Dayton, stays in Dayton (because nobody wants to hear about you sitting in construction on 75).

By the way, totally not fishing here. I truly appreciate that you read my babble, and I have an incredibly supportive group of friends and family. Partly I'm sharing because I know I'm not alone and I like putting something out into the universe that might help another writer feel less alone when they wind up shipwrecked on the Island of Temporary Suckage.

4 comments:

Other Jen said...

Never going to hear any of that from me! I love reading your blog and your style of writing is brilliant! (FWIW, in the third paragraph from the bottom I read, "...miss my 3 children for days..." I guess it pays to read every word as written.)

Sarah Hunt said...

rofl, NOT a Freudian slip, I can assure you. And thanks. :) Right back at ya.

Sarah Hunt said...

Ohhh I see, that's how YOU read it. Phew. YOU can have the 3 children etc. I'm full up to the brim with crazy with just the 2, myself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I found it very amusing. Here's an idea, why don't you write about those obscene daydreams about Axl Rose - I'd buy it.

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