she's writing a novel

a lot of her writing tends to be tongue-in-cheek. this is because she grew up in an evangelical tradition which was more concerned about where else she might be putting her tongue.

Monday, July 24, 2006

envy and apathy

Today I am obsessed with watching the imminent success of my *least* favorite blogger, on the eve of her chick-lit book release. I want the book to fail, but it won’t. It might even crack the top ten, with August upon us and everyone looking for a good beach read. And my resentment of her is an interesting kind, the kind I remember feeling for a particular girl in high school. The girl who effortlessly achieved excellent grades in math AND English, while excelling in neither. The girl who had every lead in every play, but only because she was unmemorable enough as an actress that she could blur into every nondescript high-school drama role. The girl who did everything just well enough, but nothing exceptionally well. The girl who got the attention of every average, enthusiastic, talentless person looking for a momentary icon to latch on to. The truly smart, truly interesting people always found this girl impossibly dull, a burden to observe. She excelled, but only within the margin of low expectations and bad taste. She was omnipresent but unremarkable.

It is much the same with this particular blogger and her current acclaim. I hope it is a brief flame of fame. But who knows? People love her, and people love to hate her, and that is a win-win public relations combination. It ensures that her mediocrity will be elevated and worshipped by her fans, and demonized by her enemies; it ensures that everyone will talk about her, including me.

You want to know something even more pathetic? I will read her book so that I can confirm how bad I believe it will be, while secretly envying its very existence. But I will read it in the bookstore, because I won’t want to have patronized her by buying the damn thing. I embrace that neurosis.

And why don’t I write more? I write well. I write better than this girl, with her clumsy, uneven, and overly-ambitious metaphors. She tries much too hard, and her labor to be witty, to be brilliant, to be insightful…it’s apparent and it’s ugly. There are other writers (including bloggers) who are all these things without ever giving a hint that they worked at it, practiced it, or so much as revised it. They have an easy style that suggests they just came by this writing of theirs, that it’s something that comes out of their very essence—it’s not so obviously a construct, something that had to be assembled and polished.

Easeful writing makes for glorious reading. Writing that suggests the labor of trying to create easeful writing is a nightmare, and it is the latter that this particular blogger creates, especially when she thinks she is at her best. When she is really at her best she is angry and apathetic about her words. But when she is in her “I’m a professional writer” mode, all she comes up with is long passages of detailed garbage that are desperate to be nuanced.


  • At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what no names or links? bullshit. spill the beans.

  • At 6:23 AM, Blogger Ted said…

    I agree: tell us, please.

  • At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...and was the high school girl the one i had a super-crush on?

  • At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    updated as requested.

    yes, dave, you're correct. hah. i almost mentioned that part.

  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger heather said…

    she's not my enemy.

    okay, well, maybe i'm hers. i don't know; i've never met her. writing the parody, though, was just too goddamn easy and fun to do. so we did it.

    it's just hilarious to me how much it's followed me around, especially after i moved to NYC, and how many high-fives/hugs/sexual favours i get because of it.

    i'm just kidding. noone's ever hugged me because i wrote the parody.

  • At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    She's cute!

  • At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    She, as in Heather

  • At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wait wait wait....people are famous...for blogs? what the fuck is wrong with everything? I hope her book is entitled "How I fooled stupid people into paying me to be a narcissist".
    I'd buy it.


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