Neurotic writers are the shit! The raging mental illness Anne Lamott describes in Bird by Bird is endearing. David Sederis’ shame in Santaland Diaries is heroic. The seemingly endless tales of imposter syndrome from all of my heroes is embiggening. I suffer thusly. . .
And yet the reality, in my life at least, is depressing. I’m beginning to think I’ve been duped by some very talented tricksters. But, in all fairness, I can’t blame it all on them.
Continuing on the theme from yesterday’s post, GAD Guide: How to be a Neurotic Writer in 15 Steps, I got to thinking about the underlying precepts of the neurotic writer’s life. If you’re going to be a neurotic writer, you want to be as uptight as you can be, right? So here are three principles to cultivate in order to be your unstable best.
(plus, it makes for another listicle and listicles are all the rage with the kids these days.)
Writing wisdom states: Write what you know. That’s mostly correct. Kind of, I guess. I mean, “write what you know” doesn’t REALLY work. Think about it. How could we have anything science fiction? No one knows hyperdrives or time machines. Or what about fantasy? Orcs, spells, floating castles, no one knows them. Or, take a more realistic example, how could a mild-mannered author write about a psycho serial killer? All she’s murdered are the trees that made the paper she wrote on.
Little Ralphie was so traumatized by the pink bunny outfit, he grew up to be a super villain scientist. This is a subtle nod that homemade clothing from aunts and/or grandmothers are a terrible burden on society as well as the children. Oh, won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!
At one point in the film Pennywise is sitting on Paul Bunyan’s shoulder holding bunch of his trademark red balloons. This is a subtle nod to the foot condition, bunion, a homonym of Bunyan. By using this sophisticated linguistic slight-of-hand, filmmaker Andy Muschietti reinforces how horrible Pennywise is because It can move around, causing pain in areas other than one’s feets.