Sounds like it could mean a lot of things, but today I’m imagining it to be parallel to something I call (starting five minutes ago) “Mommy Syndrome.” Mommy syndrome is a malady parents come down with after taking care of their family all day–they just want someone, anyone, to take care of them for a while.* Writer syndrome is something writers get when they’ve been working hard writing for what feels like forever and they don’t want to write for readers anymore–they just want someone to write for them for a little while.
Let’s face it, writing isn’t easy (if you think it is, you’re probably too busy sucking eggs to try it). It takes a serious toll on your creative faculties. Imagine for a moment that you’re trying to put together a 1000-piece puzzle of clear blue sky. Now imagine that you have to make each piece yourself. Sure, that almost sounds like it would be easier–aren’t you just taking the last piece you used and cutting one out to fit it? And they’re all blue, right? But remember that this puzzle has to be a thousand pieces, that each piece has to fit into another piece without overlapping or leaving any gaps, that people are going to look at and point out to each other every piece that’s a slightly different blue and each piece that isn’t cut just perfectly, and–most importantly–that the very last piece has to complete the puzzle.
If I’m the only writer that ever gets a little frustrated trying to make and piece together this puzzle that, for some unknown and idiotic reason, I decided had to be of clear blue sky, I’d be very much surprised. I know for a fact there are writers out there who are infinitely better and harder-working than I am. Surely there are times when they think, “You know, I’d just like to read a book today,” too.
*I guess if you’re me, though, you want someone to take care of your kid for a while.
**This is entirely Too Long and Inappropriate as a blog comment.**
i miss reading your stories.
i was thinking awhile back about how zonked out you must be when you're writing and on oak duty every second of every day.
but if you and josh are his models, he's without question going to be one of those indescribably awesome kids. like, you know how you occasionally meet the toddler who somehow has more character and worldliness than most adults have? that's gonna be him.
writing is hard. i thought it might get easier, but i feel like it's getting harder. the puzzle pieces sometimes spontaneously burst into flame or turn into cheese. sometimes they magically turn into pieces from a kitten in a field puzzle.
what you said about just wanting to someone to write for you makes total sense in more than one way.
sometimes i wish i had brain minions who could take all my feelings and images that i see in life and want to use in a story, and turn these things into lots of awesome sentences for me…doting brain minions who would spend forty minutes on a thesaurus site finding the Perfect Word so that i wouldn't have to.
and reading is hard, too. it can be more fun than writing is, but it requires a lot of thought and emotional investment. my two least favorite things.
it kind of seems like in order to really, really enjoy reading and have it be a real comfort and joy, the author and the reader need to share emotional/intellectual/spiritual/whatever sensibilities, at least a little bit. like, you have to share at least a small kindred flame. and finding these authors is hard work, which is my third least favorite thing.
speaking of enis, i have a hippo for him. i have wanted to mail it since before his birth. i haven't because i have issues, and am also a lazy sack of isht. it's sky boy blue because i'm sexist. if he'd been a girl i would've got a pink one. it's in christmas wrapping paper, and sitting on a flat rate box in my room, which is the closest i ever came to mailing it.
i'd like to send it before his high school graduation. of course i no longer have your address. because i'm a winner.
dear mr. bean,
i'm thinking of writing you another letter. then you'll have my address on an envelope. but if it takes as long as that last letter, i won't be mailing it until december and i'll need your address again. this is starting to feel like a mobius strip. i'll just give you my address on facebook like everyone else.