Burn Baby, Burn

It's Monday, meaning the chances of me babbling on about something I read in The New York Times Sunday Book Review are pretty high. This week's essay, Dan Kois' Why Do Writer's Abandon Novels? takes an interesting look at authors who have literally trashed texts they've spent years of their lives on. Hundreds of pages in, authors like Michael Chabon, Junot Diaz, and Jennifer Egan have terminated projects out of frustration, disgust, or distraction. Sometimes the unfinished manuscripts are burned (Evelyn Waugh and Nikolai Gogal), recycled later for characters or plot (Steven King), or just avoided all together.

I guess it's meant to be reassuring- even the greats screw up.

Sidebar: Kois definitely depreciates the value of his article by referencing Stephanie Meyers. Lumping her pasty white vampire stories (sidebar to the sidebar: I heard, but am not sure if I believe, that in one of the books a vampire performs a c-section with his teeth and then falls in love with the baby) in with the likes of Waugh, Diaz, Chabon, Lee, and Capote is criminal.

The most important lesson that I took away from the article is that I need to get my ass in gear, one of these days, and do more writing than just this. I don't have an excuse for starting, stopping, and starting over. I definitely don't have fame distracting me, I don't feel my ideas are completely shitty, and I'm not frustrated with the act of writing. I have a plethora of excuses- busy/tired after working all day, training for all these races I sign up for (speaking of, rumor has it that Rock and Roll Vegas may be at night this year- announcement tomorrow!), don't want to start when I can only commit a half hour or hour, papers to grade (oh wait, I don't do that at home), etc...

Oh, and if you ask me in person about this mysterious, non-existent novel that I need to write so I can do book tours and wear cute dresses from Anthropologie on a daily basis, I will pretend I have no clue what you're talking about. We're not in the real world stage yet. Until then, I will continue to seriously consider making time to start thinking about it some more (cough, cough, commitment-phone, cough, cough).

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