Imaginary Self-Help Clinic for Delusional Writers
Warning to Readers. The following material must not be distributed without a warning label and may be hazardous to your mental health. Repeated use is discouraged. Discontinue use immediately if you have any of these symptoms: Redness or swelling of eyes, nausea, emotional distress, paranoia, diarrhea, hysterical laughing, or feelings of depression.
Clinic is now in session
Ever want to be a writer?
Perhaps I should first ask if you have a history of entertaining other delusions as well? Are you given to frequent departures from reality? Yes, this is a concern if, for example, you are also occasionally subjected to alien abductions, or are familiar with a large talking bipedal rabbit named Harvey, who happens to wear a tuxedo. If you answer no, or you at least recognize such behavior as delusional, then you may still maintain a legitimate grasp on reality. My experience is that writing, among other deviant forms of behavior, is a purely delusional endeavor and is often accompanied by other mental disorders. These may include the onset of senility, dementia, Alzheimer's, incontinence, and in the male gender - impotence. If you're still contemplating being a writer it's probably too late to seek professional help.
One question I have to ask myself is, what compels a person to want to write? To put this in context, I should note that humanity has a long and nefarious association with flogging, and other forms of public humiliation. Aside from public floggings, various devices were used to inflict pain on the general public, such as the stocks, or other forms of pillory. Writing, by contrast, appears to be a self-inflicted malady; which leads me to suspect that many writers were previously engaged in self-denigrating behavior in their prior lives.
Have you recently been subjected to an alien abduction? Do you have frequent conversations with a large talking bipedal rabbit named Harvey, who happens to wear a tuxedo? Then you may be qualified to be a writer!
Getting started is always difficult step in any pursuit. If you want to bypass the normal route most take and immediately skyrocket into fame, I suggest you plagiarize. Otherwise you are in for a long, arduous trek, which will probably include several phases along the path to achieving said goal;
- Mildly Delusional - "I want to be a writer"
- Pathetic - thinking your material is good
- Desperation - Quitting your job at the 7-11 to make $$ writing full-time
- Reality - Asking your boss at the 7-11 for your job back,
- You may periodically repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as you like.
My Crtics! What Do They Know?
Not only do you have to be a shameless self-promoter, it helps to be thick-skinned. Any endeavor has it's share of critics, this is no exception. I myself have had my share but I learned to block them out. Besides, my critics ...what do they know? Here's what a few of them have said;
Shakespeare: "Behold, he sucketh enormously!"
Poe: "His writing scares the bejeebers out of me! Anybody want a dead cat?"
Dr. Seuss: "I would not read him on a log, I would read him in a blog; I do not like Jimagain, I do not like him, Spam I am!"
Mark Twain: "Jumping bullfrogs! I just rolled over in my literary grave!"
Louis LaMour: "Let's take him out and hang him ...or we can shoot him dead between the eyes!"
Stephen Hawking: "Oh great! Another black hole in the literary universe!"
Siskel & Eibert: "Two Thumbs Down. This is not just crap, this is really bad crap!"
Oprah Winfrey: "He is NOT on my approved book list."
Dr. Phil" "You suck! Your readers feel violated. How does that make you feel? "
My wife: "Are you on the computer again? Get up and go clean the toilet!"
My 3rd grade teacher: "If you tell me your dog ate your homework one more time..."
Cletus, my dog: "Rowf!! Aaarff, aaarrff! Grrrrr!"
…but that's OK with me. This means somewhere in the multi-verse, in a reverse parallel dimension, there must be an alternate persona of me who is really an awesome writer!
Ever want to be a writer? Are you given to frequent departures from reality? Then, pull up a chair and join our little group of literary misfits. The clinic is just about to start.
Meet The Community!
For the rest of you poor delusional saps like me with similar afflictions, who still think you can actuallly write, I've organized a local chapter of the AA, the Author's Anonymous. Join me in a recent session where we introduce ourselves to the 'community'. It's almost time to start. Seated in a semi-circle of cold, metal folding chairs are a collection of sundry haggard-looking participants in varying states of denial, some of which are cognizant.
Let me introduce you to a few; there's Bob. He's that guy with the 'toothy' Cheshire-cat grin.
See the girl with the creepy big-bug-eyed stare? The empty chair beside her is for her imaginary agent. Don't sit there!
The guy on the end in the suspenders and wearing a bow-tie, he has some kind of twitching thing going on...
Wait! It's my turn to stand up.
"My name is Jim. I'm a writer and I suck..."
"Hi Jim", they all intone.
Hey! Maybe I will see you there?!
© 2011 Jim Henderson