January 5, 2010

What would John Steinbeck do?

John Steinbeck is one of America’s most well known authors – he wrote books that were required reading in most schools, and he won a Nobel Prize for Literature (this was back when they weren’t just giving those things away like candy). I was amazed to find out that Johnny struggled with his writing and questioned himself often. In fact, he wrote a book of letters about how much he didn’t want to write the book he was working on, and he believed it to be crap. Oh, the book? East of Eden. So not only did he write an incredible novel, but he also profited from his journal of procrastination. Super genius.

If Steinbeck could get away with finding distractions and still be successful, I thought taking time away from my novel would be okay… I wrote a blog and read it to Peter, and he says, “that sounds like you”. Clueless, I ask, “what the hell is that supposed to mean?” He says something about how my writing is always centered on me. Really? When’s the last time you wrote a blog? Oh, that one last year about the half-monkey people who were shackled and walking into a death camp – because that’s what people want to read… (I didn’t say that last part out loud). I shake my head and smugly say, “well, yeah, I’m a narcissist.” Then he wrinkles up his forehead and comes back with, “you’re not a narcissist; you’re more like a solipsist”. I bite my tongue and nod because I can’t remember what that word means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a compliment.

Solipsism:
1. Philosophy. The theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
2. Extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

What?

Exactly.

This is what my darling boyfriend thinks of me.

To prove him wrong, I’m not going to write about me (in this particular piece).

There are so many subjects to touch on… like thanks to Taco Bell there’s finally a diet Kristie Alley can get behind. Or maybe I should do an in depth whore-analysis about how I believe Tila Tequila had something to do with Casey Johnson’s death, the same way Courtney Love had Curt killed. I keep running ideas by my dog, Quincy, and he just looks at me, rolls his eyes and yawns, stinking up the room with his horrible breath. I could write about dog companionship. People like dogs. Oh, I know, I can work on a piece about my pathetic friend who sits around in her apartment with the curtains drawn, watching re-runs of “Charmed”, fantasizing that she is a long-lost Halliwell sister with the magical power of invisibility.

Perhaps procrastination was a novel idea for John Steinbeck, but I don’t think I can pull this off. I’m going to stop now and work on my next chapter. Unless… you folks have any suggestions on topics, other than myself, I can write about?