Monday, May 17, 2021

How Being a Writer Ruins Everything

P.T. Phronk
A post by P.T. Phronk,
of Forest City Pulp fame
It was Friday, I'd just finished work, and I had a whole weekend ahead with no plans. I laid down on the couch, and attempted to clear my mind. Finally, I could be free of the week's worries and just be, in the moment, no thought necessary.
Then I thought: is it "laid down on the couch," or should it have been "lay down on the couch"?
I subsequently thought: man, being a write ruins everything. I can't do anything without translating it into these stupid words. That would make a good blog post! That's when the phone came out and my notes app was open and I was no longer in a blissful state of care-free laying or lying or whatever.


Here are a few other things ruined by being a writer:


  • Thinking simple thoughts. It's never just "this sandwich tastes good." Instead, it's "how would I describe the taste of this sandwich, if I were to put it in a book, or tweet about it? Should I include details about how it smells? The feeling of incisors cleaving fresh bread? Ah shit, the sandwich is gone now." Do normal people even put their thoughts in words? Or do they just, like, taste things?

  • Watching TV. A plot twist is never just a plot twist for a writer. It's an opportunity to analyze what exactly led to the twist, what it says about the characters, how it fits into the overall structure of the story. Sometimes it's like I can't even let the intended emotions hit me, because they're wrapped up in analysis and logic, which ruins any good feels. I think I even miss literally seeing things. Sometimes my girlfriend will be like "haha that guy's hat is hilarious" and I didn't even know he had a hat because I was thinking about how that trope from three scenes ago is totally overused but I could totally do something different with it.

  • Engaging in normal relationships with humans. For a few different reasons. Being good at writing does not mean being good at talking, for one, so good luck getting a coherent string of words out of a writer's mouth unless they wrote it down beforehand. It's a beautiful thing when the writer's shell of introversion does manage to get cracked, though, because then they can mine the relationship for material. Some writers may keep a straight face, but deep down, a friend's heartfelt confessionary breakdown is being classified as "compelling dialogue."

tfw you finally have time for a relaxing vacation with the family.

  • Traveling. Oh cool, a new experience in an unfamiliar place? The writer must cram his head full of every detail and try to memorize what it feels like, because "write what you know" is awfully narrow when 99% of what you know is the beige walls of an apartment. Study up on that additional knowledge. It's not supposed to be fun.

  • Having biological functions. Writers don’t sleep, they just lie down and think about things that don't exist, then write those things down in a notebook beside the bed, repeat, and eventually pass out from the exhausting cycle. Writers don't poop, they just take breaks from their day jobs to do research and take notes in a private enclosed space. Even basic personal hygiene is a time for dreaming up ideas. Why do you think so many novels start with the main character looking in a mirror and end with them crying in a shower? 


There you have it, some slightly exaggerated reasons why writing ruins everything and you should never touch a keyboard. Am I even normal for a writer, or has something gone horribly wrong inside of me? Please let me know your perfectly-formed written thoughts. 

1 comment:

Terri said...

I wholly identify with this entire post, with the exception that I live in a house, not an apartment, and so have some outdoors to wander sightlessly in while I'm inventing story.

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