Block o’ the writer.
Le bloc de scribe.
Blockity block block.
Block is a funny word.
And the word has lost all meaning to me.
Block. It doesn’t even sound like a real word. Blockblockblockblockblockblock.
I want cheese.
I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I’ve been having a touch of the writer’s block lately. So please forgive me for my introduction. I once had an English professor tell me that the only cure for writer’s block was to just start writing, even if it didn’t make sense, and eventually the words would start flowing.
And he was right. They are now, indeed, flowing. Right up shit creek. Sans paddles.
A point. I should have a point. Yes, because that is what writing is for, to get to “the” point. Unless it’s poetry. Or a thinly-veiled autobiographical novel by a 25-year-old post-grad student who writes on a typewriter because it’s more “authentic.”
The point is, I’m happy. And that is, obviously, the problem.
See, happy people generally don’t become writers. Not that they can’t or that there aren’t currently happy people writing. Or even that an otherwise miserable writer can’t be happy from time to time. But there is a reason the majority of the best ones end up in the gutter dying of tuberculous and alcoholism and cousin-marrying diseases.
Let’s put it this way, our most optimistic motto comes from Ernest Hemingway and goes “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
A lot of writing comes from dark places. Even if you fancy yourself a humor writer, such as a certain someone I know that is totally me. In fact, I’d even be willing to throw out the theory that funny writing often comes from some of the darkest places of all. I got ten bucks that says Dave Barry, Erma Bombeck and Mark Twain all sacrificed baby goats and then drank a gallon of whiskey before putting pen to paper.
And while in general I think I’m a fairly content and optimistic person, there was always some deep down angst I could draw from before in my writing, no matter how great my life was going. Daddy issues. An eating disorder. Betrayals by former boyfriends. Financial instability. The premature cancelation of “Firefly.” That one time I had to go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.
Not that I really wrote about those particular things (the grocery store incident notwithstanding…that one was a three-parter). I just used my former bitterness and sadness to help me laugh at the world. In fact, that’s why I wanted to become a humor writer in the first place. The world is significantly less scary if you can make fun of it.
However, I am currently living through what will be my good ‘ol days. And I am lucky enough to realize this as I’m going through it. Which is amazing.
But as a writer, it’s kryptonite. No one wants to read about other people’s happy lives. We want to read about how messed up other people’s lives are so we feel better about our own messed up lives. We weren’t forced kicking and screaming to read “Anna Karenina” in high school because she ends up happily married with a half dozen adorable, cherubic babies running happily through her skirts. No! We were forced to read it so we could all go “well, at least my life ain’t as screwed up as that chick’s.”
It’s like my stupid, adorable, perfect husband and my stupid, adorable, perfect son and our stupid, adorable, perfect life together has shot a ray of pure friggin’ sunshine and rainbows into my very own heart of darkness. How do you make fun of your life and have sentences dripping with snark when you wake up every morning like bloody freaking Snow White, singing as you get dressed and feeling absolutely no desire to throw your hot coffee on the bird singing outside your window?
I’m happy, dammit.
I guess the only thing to do now is just sit back and enjoy it like the happy and mature person I apparently am now. (But all while secretly counting down the days until my baby hits the Terrible Twos and I’ll be miserable again).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go think of some trivial subject that I can pick a fight with my husband over so I have a topic for next week.
Don’t forget: hell is other people.
You write a book about cheese.
Cheese comes in blocks.