Small Disappointments

I got this beautiful necklace doohickey and I realize, I don’t own a gold chain to put it on.  So much for wearing it in a timely manner.

I kicked butt at work today in really satisfying ways, which I know is a weird thing to feel disappointment in, but I want to be the person who needs the support. I could even accept that I just suck as a writer of fiction, even though I really love it, and thus have no hope of ever being published.

But people, I must suck on par with this, right? How is that something people want to read and are moved by? It makes me feel old and irrelevant, already. And yet, apparently, it is awesome and I just can’t recognize it. And I suck and can’t recognize it.

Blah, whatever.

8 thoughts on “Small Disappointments

  1. I refuse to click to read beyond page 1 of that story. That was terrible writing. And at least a third of the comments thought so too.

    You could maybe just put the doohickey on a ribbon. It’s cheap and easy to acquire and actually kinda fashionable these days. Get some shiny black, or velvety black, or a color that matches the doohickey ribbon at least 1/2 inch thick and you’ll be good to go.

  2. Ooh, ribbon. That’s a good idea.

    I know we have some people who read here that have years of literary training. I am begging you, if that is you, to explain Tao Lin to me. Is he making fun of the people he’s writing about? This writing style is an affectation, right? Is it a comment on vacuousness? Is it to flaunt that even the most ridiculous shit can get published if you know people?

    Is it just to taunt me? What?

  3. I am, however, over my pity party. I just would like a victory or two, you know, however small, to make trudging along through the disappointments manageable.

  4. I couldn’t read beyond the first page, either. It was so difficult to follow what the writer was trying to say. If he’s doing it deliberately, then … I don’t know. Seems like poor writing, to me.

  5. He just signed a $40,000 deal with Random House. If he earns out his advance, they’ll give him another $10,000.

    I am baffled, frankly. I feel like I’m hearing a joke I’m too old to get.

  6. Here’s the thing to keep in mind: People get contracts for novels, movie scripts, etc. because somebody with the power to say yes says so. (in the case of movies, things only proceed if they manage to keep the power to say yes.) Good and bad stuff is put out constantly. The yes or no on publishing is not, ultimately, a judgment on quality, but on what they think they can sell. I know you utterly know this as a publisher, but we all forget it as writers, when it gets–personal. Keep plugging away.

  7. Madam, I could not get through the first paragraph. And that was after wading through that self-congratulatory overblown sidehanded introduction.

    … are certain that all of us will be hearing various things from and about him for years to come.

    If that’s not damning with more than faintly confusing praise, I don’t know what is. I think even the magazine (which, by that paragraph alone, also is entirely too enamoured of its own prose), is hedging its bets. “A bunch of people threw money at this guy, so he must be worth something; remember you read him here first” is essentially what they’re saying.

    You know how that happens, whether in publishing or music or film or whatever: Somebody has a vested interest in pushing some limited-talent individual, so they pull out the hype machine and get to cranking. And media, not only because of staffing shortages that encourage running hyperventilating press releases as news, but also because they want to be seen as in with the In Crowd, too, suck it right up and spit it right back out to the public. Who say, “Ooo! It must be Important if Everybody says so!”

    Short version: It’s like a teenager read Faulkner and decided to write, too. It’s not you, B. It’s … that. :shudders:

    With love from a person who knows self-congratulatory overblown copy and is always entirely too enamoured of her own prose.

    (Oh my dog, I just glanced at the page and saw “… undulated her backside …” and have now gone blind.)

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