Jun 30, 2005

Vomited forth from the primordial ooze

That sounds like quite a dashing way to start a new post. Wish I had some steak to go with all that sizzle.

I think we've discussed this before, but it's a good jumping off point. There are mornings when I get up and my tired little brain is just sparkling with ideas to blog about. There are mornings when I've dreamed things that I want to discuss in the wee hours of the pre-work morning, there are mornings where things outside or around me spark off the roaring flames of creativity, there are even days when I've been thinking for days about just how to approach a certain subject. And then there are days when I go and confront my creativity gland and it's lying on the couch with a beer in easy reach, a Supersize bag of Tostitos on it's belly, the tele blaring in the background, and when I say "Hey there, what about some ideas?" it simply rolls over and digs it's underwear out of the crack of it's arse.

And so, disheartened, I go slumping back to the Real World, sit in front of the glaring, acusatory white screen and wonder just what the hell I'm going to talk about.

It's not so much a case of Writer's Block, because I don't really think of myself as a writer, but I still get the occasional "Oh dear Billy, don't touch that man, he's a Writer. Come here and hold my hand, just don't look at him and he won't speak to us." Writers seem, in the public eye, to be one small rank up from being a carnival worker.

"Step right up, one and all, don't be shy, only one thin dime, please don't touch the Carnie. See The Writer in it's natural habitat! Watch as it rants and raves! Please don't place your hands within reach of The Writer."

But I'm not a writer. The main difference between being a writer and being a storyteller is that I like being a storyteller. It seems to me that there is one integral part of being a writer that I lack: a hatred of what I do. Every writer I've ever spoken to seems to have this deep boiling resentment at being a writer. They shout and rant about how hard it is to write, about how writing rides them the way a poor jockey rides a horse, and then they stomp off and order a double frappe with a twist of bitters and they go home to sit in front of their antique Olivettis and bang away at the keys until their fingers bleed.

I almost feel guilty when I talk to these demented souls about what they do and what I do. They have that haunted look in their eyes, and never seem to look directly at you, while I have a clear, bright honest gaze that is willing to meet you eye to eye. Their complexions are spotty, pale and haggard from sitting up all night smoking cigarette after cigarette in front of a blank page of paper, while I have the robust tan glow of a guy who gets out in the fresh air a lot. Their hands twitch a lot, mine offer a firm handshake. Their backs are bent and arched from carrying the weight of the world, while mine is straight and proud.

I did say that I "almost" feel guilty. I rather like being a storyteller. Except when the stories don't come.

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