The Writer

The Writer exists in two worlds: the world he’s creating and the world in which he wears the same shirt a lot. The Writer successfully holds each world responsible for his failings in the other, a Ping-Ponging of accountability that frees him to wake up around elevenish.

The Writer feels uneasy referring to himself as a writer in the presence of others. He struggles to shake the sense that he’s an imposter and that at any moment someone’s going to ask him what an adverb is.

The Writer has a small group of confidantes with whom he feels comfortable sharing his drafts. He relies on their honest feedback, and in exchange he gives their e-mails the finger.

The Writer refuses to allow criticism of his writing to sow doubt in other aspects of his life. He has other critics who specifically handle that stuff.

The Writer avoids distraction by disabling his Internet connection before he sits down to write. As a reward for this sacrifice, he allocates special Internet time for himself every three to five minutes.

The Writer understands that the nourishment he chooses feeds not only his body, but also his mind. He is careful to fortify himself with foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates and fat and sugar and Pringles.

The Writer knows the importance of committing to write a certain number of words every day. He sets a strict range for himself of between a thousand words and masturbating.

The Writer shuts off his internal editor while in the middle of a draft so that the real-time critiques don’t derail his process. “Nice sentence, dumbass”; “show don’t tell, you dumb dick”; “get a new shirt for your dumb body, dummy”—the writer’s internal editor is a monster.

The Writer knows how discouraging it can be to compare his writing to that of others, so over the last several years he’s become much better about not reading.

The Writer goes on long walks to quiet his cluttered mind and spark his imagination. Each time he returns to his desk to resume his writing, as if by some divine force, he finds himself armed with a burrito he picked up on the walk.

The lines blur between the Writer and the characters he creates on the page. At times, he is unsure where his life stops and theirs begins. Then he feels burrito in his mouth.

The Writer sits in coffee shops amid other writers. The collective din of their keyboards makes the Writer wonder what their stories are about and whether or not his animated bursts of fake typing have grown obvious to any of them.

The Writer experiments with different voices. Most recently, the voice of a middle-aged man trying to convince his landlord to let him pay this month’s rent in massages.

Filtered through the keen observational eye of the Writer, seemingly mundane objects take on deeper meaning. A piece of paper is more than just a piece of paper to him, it’s a rejection e-mail from a not-so-great publication that has some real nerve pulling this crap.

In the end, it’s not about getting published; the Writer writes simply because he must. A drive that he can only describe as a mystical spirit that channels through his mind into his fingertips, and floods the page with words that don’t sound that great together because maybe this just isn’t the Writer’s damn thing.