Sunday, June 19, 2011

Writers Are Special

Writers Are Very Special

By Robert J. Wetherall

As a writer of sorts, I’m fully aware of the trials, tribulations and sheer crap that we writers have to go through. But a brief discussion yesterday with my pal, celebrated author and welder Eddie Salinski, set me straight on this by giving me a view of the world through his unique looking-glass. Eddie says he has no time for writers who walk through life with a hangdog look of the maltreated and unappreciated, just because they’ve received several hundred rejections by publishers and dodged insults from herds of highfalutin literary agents who wouldn’t know a book from a submarine.

Writers, don’t let all this affect you, Eddie says. Rise above it, because if you’re a writer, you are very special. You are one of a kind, courageously carrying on a struggle against horrendous odds. Battle-toughened, unique, a rare meteorite in a desert dune. Your friends cleave to you and hunger for your attention. Your many enemies envy you. The IRS doesn’t dare audit you. You enjoy special discounts at Sammy’s Second-Hand Stuff. Your family even lets you ride in the car with them.

Better still, Eddie says, if you’re a writer, acquaintances will think it’s cute when you’re self-centered, rude, and obnoxious. They’ll assume that, as a person of higher status, you play by different rules than those accorded more humble non-writing beings.

“But what if I’m a really stinky writer?” I asked Eddie softly.

“Doesn’t mean a damn thing,” Eddie reassured. “Nobody knows the difference!”

He patiently explained that even lousy writing is better than not writing at all. He reminded me that even a dumb shallow statement looks much smarter on paper than it sounds when spoken, especially when enhanced by a cunning modern font.

Eddie’s confidence radiated from his wiry little body as he flicked a cigarette into the dry brush behind his trailer. “Trust me,” he said, offering me a soiled hanky to dry my eyes.

There’s no denying that Eddie’s pronouncements about the literary world must be taken seriously, given the explosive success of his own works. That’s why Eddie Salinski has become my oracle of sorts. He knows whereof he speaks. So who are we to be filled with doubt?

Let’s man up, as they say. Straighten those shoulders. Have the cojones (if available) to face your future with jutting, uplifted chin. Stare fate in the chops. March proudly to an upbeat drummer. Instead of wasting time writing your name in the snow this afternoon, go mail off another pathetic query. Mark it “Eddie sent me” and hope for the best.

After all, you are special. Now act like it.

Robert J. Wetherall

Last Flight Home
The Making of Bernie Trumble
Forever Andrew

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