Not a pity party, I promise [ 2003-09-03, 11:39 p.m. ]

Ugh, double ugh. I've just re-read the first entries on this site, and they stink. This is harder than I thought it would be.

First of all, I hate that I don't know HTML. Just there, I tried to bold the word "hate." Did it work? I'm not sure how I managed to avoid the whole internet revolution, but somehow, I've been content with emailing for the past 6 years and never bothered to learn how to create a website. So I'm using this ugly, boring format. And I hate it. I need to go to Barnes & Noble stat and pick up an HTML manual. Or stop by P.S. 129, as I'm sure the third-graders there are designing more advanced sites than me. Bastards.

Also, I am a funny person. Funny, and smart. Nice too. But I read my so-called entries and they are blerrrrrccchhhhh... For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me what a gifted writer I am, that I should write more, that I am talented. Up until a few weeks ago, I agreed. I keep telling myself that my voice will develop on it's own, but I've been reading journals like Allison's and AB's , and I feel like they are eons ahead of me.

I quit my job three months ago. I told everyone I did so in order to give writing a chance. What does that mean, exactly? For me, it has meant spending a few days staring blankly at the monitor while starting a few pointless and, frankly, bad short stories. It meant starting what I referred to in my head as a book. Saying it out loud sounded way too contrived. Then I started telling myself that very few authors publish novels before they turn 30, which relaxed me for about three minutes, as it buys me a bouple of years to turn out anything of quality. In between bouts of staring at the monitor, I started reading more online journals and blogs, which made me realize how many writers there are out there. Good ones.

The thing is, I am a good writer. And an interesting person. It's just that things keep getting lost in translation, somehow.

Now I'm semi-employed (in what was supposed to be a part time thing but is actually a time- and energy-consuming retail job that I enjoy immensly, but which is taking me further and further from the goal of being a Writer, capital W), and I find myself in my least favorite position: struggling to catch up. To all of you who know what you want to do and are persuing it. To everyone who has been writing faithfully as long as they've been able. To the vast masses out there online.

Every Sunday when I look at the New York Times bestseller list and see The Devil Wears Prada climbing higher and higher, I want to puke. I know that's appropos of nothing, but I hate seeing 25-year olds using writing as a PR device. Probably an unfair thing to say, but in my mind, White Teeth and The Interpreter of Maladies are a world apart from The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada. Don't get me wrong, I think it's awesome when young writers get published, but honestly, I find it discouraging when the Save Karens of the world find success. Karma, where are you?

Then again, didn't I just say that this is harder than it looks? What do I know, sitting here with an ugly website and no book?

I hope I can catch up...


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