Saturday, March 13, 2010

Could You Help Me Out? I'm Just A Few Clowns Short Of A Circus

Writing is a lonely business. Lonelier than a port-o-potty cleaner at a truckstop in Nome, Alaska. It can suck you into a vortex of self-loathing that has you asking friends, "should I go on anti-depressants?"

The answer is yes, Susan. I suggest starting with 125 milligrams.

The days will seem lighter, the sun warmer, friends kinder, the world gentler. Your writing will flow like a Caribbean waterfall. Then, just like a bad acid trip, you'll begin to realize it still requires something akin to a plot, talent, hard work and sadly, structure. Goddamned-sonofabitch structure. And before you can say Brett Easton-Ellis, you'll be back to square one. That's why it might be best to give up those inane literary pursuits and consider going to...
Clown College!

 What better way to express the overwhelming creativity and joie de vivre that most writers have smoldering within us? Instead of clever, thinly veiled stories about your friends drinking problems and unexpected miscarriages, you can say what's on your mind with brightly colored balloon animals and ridiculously vague and inappropriate hand gestures. Not to mention a perfectly painted on smile that says, "I don't know where the hell I am, but I sure am having fun!"

Instead of inept reviews from random bloggers who thought the 'Twilight' series gave literature the boost it sorely needed, you'll get rave reviews from small children who, although frightened at first by the bad make-up and the smell of gin on your breath, will come to adore you, clinging to your leg like they're in the cereal isle at the Piggly-Wiggly, while begging their parents if  'Scott The Clown' can please! please! come and live with them.

And for a thin, brief moment, this actually sounds like a good idea.

What the heck? It's not like you have a relationship weighing you down. Turns out you're too 'moody' and no one really gets you. You haven't paid your rent in three months anyway. I'm sure your landlord will gladly help you pack up your meager belongings (which consist of a  ping-pong table and a copy of Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' you never actually read) and give you cab fare just to be sure you're on your merry way.

All I'm saying is, writing is hard. Clowning is fun. From now on, I'm choosing fun. Why should I spend my precious time agonizing over character development or a more mellifluous way to describe what's in my protagonists closet when I can learn how to juggle cantaloupe and the fine art of pulling string out of my nose. Not to mention the shoes!

Oh, what I wouldn't give to show up at my publishers office in those shoes to say fine, maybe Sophie's Choice as science fiction won't work, but who cares! I have a new life now. Sure, I'll still be tripping, falling and bumping into walls just like you said, but this time it's on my terms.
 And I'll be getting paid.

For once.

"Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals." -John Steinbeck


  1. Yet, clowns have a difficult job requirement: they must always SEEM a writer, one may fake any state, show any mood (real or otherwise...). Acting should be easier, should it not? This way one can choose the part to be played...Just wondering..