A Writer’s nightcap
Being a writer is not as hard as people think it is. You need to be self-loathing, you need to brood a lot, you need to read a lot and by that I mean, read literature that is unheard of to a lot of other people and more importantly you should hardly ever write. Somehow reinforcing stereotypes gives me more pleasure than creating new ones.
I’m going to assume for now that the writer in this short has finally gotten down to do what he is destined to do; write. At first, he is unsure whether using words like “gotten” and “din’t” makes him a bad writer. But he decides he is too good a storyteller to confine to the restrictions of “intellectual literature”. He wants his stories to introduce mental mastication and not introduce a spell-checker or not a make a Grammar Nazi out of his reader. He then digresses to gloat about how clever he is to come up with the term, “Grammar Jew”. Given that the room is empty, he puts his head down in shame, the gloating stops. But right when he is drowning in his own shame, he convinces himself that the term “Grammar Jew” is politically incorrect an it would be insensitive of him to use it, let alone gloat about it.
He contradicts himself a lot. This is how he sleeps at night.
He begins to look around the room. He spots a bottle of an 18-year old Scotch. The Scotch was gifted to him by a friend, or rather an acquaintance, who believed in stereotypes, just like the writer. But the writer has no idea why the Scotch is so expensive nor does he have any idea about how much valuable an 18-year old scotch is. His line of defence is, “I’ve only heard of the saying, ‘Wine gets better with age’. I haven’t heard of any Scotch quotes”. He then begins to reward himself with a glass of the fine Scotch for quoting himself inside another quote of himself.
He places the glass of Scotch on his newly purchased wooden table. Something about the smell of freshly cut and polished trees that makes a writer go, “Aaaah”. He takes out a sheet of the recycled paper and puts it between the fine slits of the typewriter. He places his finger on the letter ‘A’. He feels this story is progressing too linearly. And remember, he is a rebellious writer. Or rather, he is a rebel who writes. There is a difference.
He snaps out of his perfectly-detailed and characterised fantasy land; fantasy, for lack of a better word. The Scotch is missing and so it the typewriter. What is it with writers and dreams, they never seem to get the science right.
The typewriter has now been replaced with a MacBook Air and the Scotch has been replaced with a……there is no alcohol. The writer is sort of a rehabilitating alcoholic. Not sure if he is rehabilitating the alcohol or himself. But he is happy because he is still part of a larger stereotype. Even though he might not do good work, his smile indicates he is happy. And now he happier given that he just constructed a complex but redundant sentence.
The writer knows that writing meta is easy. It is about being self-indulgent. It is easily achievable given that there is no plot to be followed. Ranting is being emotional. And he knows that emotional writers aren’t always good writers. But then he reconsiders his style, his traits and his talents or the lack thereof. He can’t choose between wanting to be a good writer or wanting to be a writer. The two being mutually exclusive while being inclusive on some level, he knows he can’t afford to be indulgent if he ever wants to be a good writer.
He realises that switching narrative from first person to third person does not make him a better storyteller nor does it make the transition from writing in a diary to producing a dairy of metaphorical work any smoother.
He puts the pen down. The MacBook is still present in the room but he never established himself ever using the MacBook under any circumstance. As he literally puts pen to paper for one last time that night, he knows this material is no way publishable. He knows for a fact that being a good reader doesn’t necessarily make him a good writer as well. He realises that the world is too competitive a place for a diary filler to ever make it as a writer.
Was he being a storyteller or was he only being articulate of his emotions? He puts the lid on the pen, closes his multipurpose diary and smirks at how what he did was so pointless and indulgent that he knew it was just enough to validate his ego.