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NYTimes to readers: Here’s Another Boring Piece of Crap About the Writing Life, Which We Hope Will Depress and/or Discourage You

September 22, 2008

it takes David Gessner about 2 and 1/4 pages to stop being a whiny baby and actually make a valid point:

I think it is legitimate to worry that writers pressed for time will produce work that is more hurried; that writers who hand in annual reports listing their number of publications might focus as much on quantity as quality; and that writers who depend on bosses for their employment might produce safer, less bold work

aside from that, this article is about 3 pages of self crisis about writing with undertones of anxiety about one’s future in the canon.

we realize that you realize–by now–that we have some biases so we invite you to read for yourself. at the least you’ll agree that this article did NOT need to be written.  at least by david gessen.*  but he did write it and here are some egregious gems:

A great writer, after all, must travel daily to a mental subcontinent, must rip into the work, experiencing the exertion of it, the anxiety of it and, once in a blue moon, the glory of it. —> (ummmmm, sure?  Natalie Goldberg?  is that you?)

Well, we can’t all go live by ponds or write books about whales. Perhaps I should throw my argument over a clothesline and beat it with the broom of common sense. —> (why did you abandon that last idea?)

For most of us, the options aren’t teaching or writing all day in a barn but teaching or working at the Dairy Queen. —> (Dairy Queen?  really?  you really think this?  Jesus Christ, Gessen, you are an idiot.)

The job provides a safety net above the abyss of facing the difficulty of creating every day, making an irrational thing feel more rational. —> (OMG, ya’ll, writing is, like, SOOOOO hard and makes me doubt myself!  Yukkies!)

And a part of me worries that my work has become too professional, too small, and worries that I don’t spend as much time as I should reading or brooding or even fretting. —> (oh, you’re so modest: you fret enough in these 3 pages to wear me out for months!)

I don’t know how long I can survive in captivity. —> (but thank god you’re captive and not out with regular people)

in Gessen’s defense we should point out that the Japanese think that crying is good for babies.  in which case we give Gessen a clean bill of health.

*we pick on people.  a lot.  we know this.  we don’t have any beef with david gessen and we don’t doubt that he is an intelligent man and/or talented writer.  however, we reserve the right to pick on everybody regardless of intelligence or talent.

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