Wrote this in response to an article about boring readings.
Maybe readings aren’t boring.
Maybe it’s you.
Not just you, but all writers.
Maybe when we perpetuate the image of a sad, boring writer, we’re going to be sad and boring.
Writers: quit perpetuating your weaknesses
Quit perpetuating self-loathing.
Quit being bitter.
Quit engaging with your detractors.
Quit relying on booze as a social crutch.
Quit being unapproachable.
Quit being fucking weirdos.
This, coming from a guy who was diagnosed with anxiety and depression this year.
This, coming from a guy who just lost his cat.
Just be regular human beings.
Who can have conversations.
Who have other interests besides literature.
Who don’t have to have the most interesting things to say all the time.
Who can be awkward, and that’s okay.
I’m hella awkward.
Nobody has ever said a Scott McClanahan reading was boring.
Being human is a major theme in his writing.
Don’t talk about the reading while at the reading.
You don’t go to a party and talk about literature.
(if you do, then that party sucks)
There will be nobody who is as in love with your writing as you are.
But a reading is your chance to sell it.
If you’re a “boring” reader, get stage-coaching.
You care enough to get your writing edited, but not enough to get your performance edited?
The insular writer doesn’t exist anymore.
Not if doing this for living is your ultimate goal.
It’s weird that we can be so self-involved while perpetuating the idea that we’re miserable people.
Quit aggrandizing “writing” as this untouchable art.
Our writing is not doing anyone any favors.
We’re doing it because otherwise we’d die.
It is like breathing.
Breathing isn’t boring.
Finding boredom in watching someone else breathe says more about you than the breather.
Focus on that.
Not your qualms with Big Publishing.
(who, in the Grand Scheme of Things, are not nearly as evil as the record or movie biz)
Not your twitter following.
Not James Franco.
I’m not saying don’t be sad.
I’m not saying be more happy.
I’m saying don’t perpetuate the idea that our lives our pathetic.
I’m saying there is nothing wrong with being a writer.