Sunday, March 30, 2008

Writing about nothing about writing

The danger of being a writer is that as writers we are supposed to write about the world, and if we become completely involved in writing then writing becomes our world. At that point we are writing about writing, which means we are writing about nothing because there is at no point a proper subject matter. At this point we build our subject matter, and it looks rather silly because it has no grounding in anywhere but our own heads. We take it apart and try to figure out what went wrong. Once it is taken apart we find we have no glue and therefore we are left without any subject matter at all.

Therefore we buy black hats and wander about at cafes talking of how we cannot speak. Happily this gives us subject matter and so we hurry off to write about our experience. We send it off and everyone loves it because they are having exactly the same problem, so they write the same thing. At this point we aren't writing about art, but writing about writing about art...or something down the line.

Now to be serious: Draw the line at some point. If you are to write you must love more then writing. Do not quit your day job, become a mathemetician, go for very long walks, or work in the garden. There is no harm in loving writing and if you do not you ought not to write. But I love writing too and I say that those who see it as the singular aim of life do it great harm.

Of course they say that us fantasy writers are foolish and dishonest fools, so I suppose I cannot do much good here. If I'm writing about writing does that mean I'm writing about nothing right now?

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