Whatever, Screw That Jerk, You Totally Want To Be A Writer

Do As The Stone Says, I Guess

Man, last week? I read this post written by some guy? And it was all like, “Blah blah blah, seriously, you don’t want to be a writer because it sucks and I whine a lot.”

What a jerk, am I right? And by “jerk,” I really mean, “cock-waffle.”

You can borrow that, if you like. “Cock-waffle.” It’s all yours. I just made that up. I just wrote that. You know why? Because I’m a writer. And you know what? Being a writer is awesome. Hell, it’s not just awesome. It’s the tits. That’s what all the cool kids are saying, right? “The tits?” Like, “Dang, this McRib sandwich is the tits,” or, “Hoo boy, those Castilian Band poets — in particular, Patrick Hume of Polwarth — were the tits!” I dunno. Sounds right to me.

See, you’re over there thinking that being a writer is one big giant sack of squirming misery. That you’d be better off sticking your pink parts in a rat-trap. That the only way to be a writer is to be a starving, broke, syphilitic lunatic whose flesh is branded with the countless rejections he hath received.

No. Bzzt. Hell no. That guy who wrote that post? He’s just trying to rub out the competition. As someone said, he’s hoping to thin the herd. But don’t you listen to him. Let me invite you into the warm, nougaty embrace of the writer’s life. We will dance on mushroom tops. We will ride giant butterflies across rivers formed of spilling ink. We’ll tickle dragons until they vomit up words of encouragement and wisdom!

Here is why you should really be a writer. Sit back as I fill your head with dreams.

Because You Make Shit Up, And Then People Give You Money

You know what I did today? I wrote about a vampire. And that vampire was being chased by zombies. And someone is going to give me money for it. That is totally absurd. In the world? People are out there doing real work. They’re fitting pipes and jiggering transmissions and manipulating the stock market from secret underwater bunkers. But me? I sit here. I make up insane bullshit. And then someone sends me a check. It’s like getting paid to eat ice cream or invent Rube Goldberg machines. This should be illegal.

Because My House Is My Motherfucking Office

You work in a cubicle farm where they grow gray fuzzy walls. Did you know the fuzz on those walls is not only a sound-dampener, but also a soul-dampener? Pieces of your fleeing soul catch on the fuzzy bits — like clothing caught on rose-thorn — never to return. True scientific fact, that.

I do not work amongst cubicle walls. I have an office where I look out a pair of windows and I see deer frolicking, foxes hunting, and titmice eating. That’s right. I said titmice. Which is not, despite the name, a mouse with human breasts. (But just you wait. Now that Obama loosed stem cells upon the world, we’ll see titted-up mice overrunning our homes and schools before you know it. He’s like Hitler, that Obama.) When I take a break, I don’t go down to the break room. I don’t have to leave the house to eat a shitty fast food lunch. I go into my kitchen. I make eggs. Or get a salad. I play with the dogs. I take an hour to do some exercise. I drink some almond milk (which is so delicious and given half a chance I would have sex with it and hope to have its little milk-babies). I’m a free agent in my own life.

You get “casual day” at work. Where you get to “dress down.”

I get “pantsless day” at work. Which is all day, every day, baby.

Beat that.

Because You’re In Amazing Company

Becoming a writer — like, a hot-dang-I-got-something-published-writer — is joining a club full of kick-ass dudes and ladies. Everywhere you turn, you’re like, “Wow, I met Favorite Writer X,” and “By the milky sweat of Athena’s butt-dimples, is that Favorite Writer Y?” And nine times out of ten, they’re just crazy nice folks. They’ll buy you a drink. You can share a meal. Or some horse tranquilizers.

The small corner of my real-life and social-media world is filled with people that slacken my jaw at every moment. And I am mysteriously allowed in their company.

Like this guy! Or this lady! Or this dude! Or what about him? And what about her? Don’t forget this fella. Or this lass. And that’s just a tiny fraction of the awesome that surrounds me any given day. Sweet Crispy Christ on a Combination Lunch Platter, how is that not exciting?

Because, Did I Mention They’ll Give You Money? And It Doesn’t Suck?

Get this:

If you can write 1000 words an hour, and you can make five cents per word (a relatively low amount), you make — drum roll please as I quick do some math in my head (carry the one, calculate Pi to the thirty-seventh decimal, get out the Enigma machine) —

Fifty bucks an hour.

Not a lot of jobs:

a) Let you make shit up

b) Let you work without pants

c) Pay you fifty bucks an hour.

I’m sorry, why wouldn’t you want to be a writer again?

Because You Have More Options Now Than You’ve Ever Had

The Internet has changed everything.

I mean, more than just making sure that we have access to the freakiest, dag-nastiest porn available to any member of history across any civilization ever.

Information is truly democratized. It takes nothing to get your story into the hands of an agent or an editor. Or, if you want, skip ’em. You can cut to the chase and get right to an audience with blogs, with Twitter, with Amazon, with Smashwords, etc.etc.

Your writing will reach the gatekeepers faster, or if you so choose, it can kick the gatekeepers in the snacks and run right into the warm embrace of your readership. Your work doesn’t even have to be all that good anymore. It can just — poof! — exist in the world with nary a thought on your part!

Fly free, crappy words! Fly free!

Hell, if you’re a genuinely good writer, you can get out there easy-breezy lemon-squeezy.

Because “Cock-Waffle”

Seriously. “Cock-waffle.”

Cock-waffle, cock-waffle, cock-waffle, cock-waffle, cock-waffle.

Because The Fucking Snooki Book, That’s Why

Listen. Snooki got a book deal.

And Snooki is, what, some kind of subterranean homunculus that crawled up out of a burbling sewer hole somewhere? Ye gods, if that nuclear CHUD can manage to get a book deal, I’d say you have a pretty good shot. It’s clear they let any mule-kicked chimp write a book, so all you have to do is meet that barest of requirements. I’d put money that you’re a better writer than that big-haired donkey.


  • Man, I was just thinking about packing the whole writing thing in, but you reminded me: “Cock-Waffle!”

    Thanks, Chuck!

    (Now it’s off to sleep. If “cock-waffle” factors into my dreams, it’s all your fault…)

  • I am absolutely busting out the cock waffle when my friends get back. Cock waffle.

    Damn, that’s even better than twat waffle, which is pretty amazing as is.

    Oh, and that being in amazing company thing? Oh man, oh man! That is my twitter experience in a nut shell. And here. Ok, so still a little bit on the outside looking in, but there’s all these amazing writers! And I can talk to them! And sometimes they talk back!

    Cock waffle.

  • You said exactly what I was thinking with 50% more “cock-waffle”. Beside which, you sum up exactly why I’m a writer. What am I supposed to write about now?

    Absolutely ANYTHING.

  • I hate to burst your bubble, snookums, but I’ve been saying (and hearing other people say) cockwaffle for years. But it’s still hilarious.

    Also, this was the kind of pep-talk I needed this morning. Your ability to supply the cheer right when it’s needed is uncanny.

    • @Kate,

      I’m afraid I invented “cock-waffle.” I’ve got it here on this legal document. I then time-traveled back in time to ensure that the language populated throughout civilization. The Babylonians were the first to accept my gift of cock-waffle.

      Also, the cheer I supply is usually the cheer I need. This further proves my solipsistic suspicion that you’re all just figments of my selfish imagination.

      — c.

  • Actually, being a figment of your imagination is a more plausible explanation of my usage of cockwaffle in years past. Your mind had already invented it even if you didn’t consciously know it.

  • Best post I’ve read this week!
    Agree with everything except pantsless (I wear pyjamas until noon, though)
    – view out window (deer, snow, etc)
    – stupid dog
    – other writers are nice
    Hooray for writing!

  • So, do I or don’t I want to be a writer? I’m getting mixed messages…

    Yeah, the perks definitely outweigh the bad stuff. It’s a lot of stress and a lot of work, but god damnit I can work from bed if I so choose.

  • Thank you for this post.

    Actually, the other post made me really depressed cause I did believe it does suck to be a writer, but I don’t really think I have a choice in the matter. It’s all I want/can do. So I felt I was doomed to be miserable.

    So this post reminded me of the reasons why it’s worth all the misery. Thanks!

  • As a journalist, I applaud you for presenting the other side of this story. You are fair and balanced. Like Fox News.


  • You missed one of the best, in my opinion.

    I’ve been having a seriously shitty week, but this morning I snuck in a bit of writing before work, and my character did something that’s had me snickering all day.

    When you’re a writer, the voices in your head are FUN.

  • Cockwaffle is the language used by UK politicians. Probably by most other politicians too. nobody understands it but that’s okay because nobody should be listening anyway.

    As for asrebadgers, please don’t mention those. I’m still on tablets and sitting on a rubber ring, and the last attack ended months ago.

    If only there was an effective treatment for nipplestoats….

  • >> “We will dance on mushroom tops. We will ride giant butterflies across rivers formed of spilling ink. We’ll tickle dragons until they vomit up words of encouragement and wisdom!”

    I’m free Saturday.

    Oh, and thanks for making me google Snooki; really, thanks. 😉

  • *sheesh* Can we have some more names for the male parts please? I’m full up with the females kind. Thank you cockwaffles.
    Loved this post btw. Holy crap, can you write, my man!

  • As an aside, “thinning the herd” is not merely how you make it easier for the big bulls to get to the water-hole. It’s also better for the fitness of the whole species, and therefore its sustainability. It keeps the whole population from stumbling toward a collapse from its own decrepitude. Not enough thinning the herd, and you end up with an animal primed for a swift trip to Fossilville when the slightest novel infection or minor climate shift hits.

    On further analysis, it’s actually not as dismissive a metaphor as one might think. Unless we don’t give a crap about the long-term prospects of published fiction.

    So, even if you’re doing it for selfish reasons, and not to whip a shabby lit culture back into shape, I say thin that herd! Thin it until therapists’ offices are overflowing with weepy rejected hacks, too-little-too-late trend hoppers, and one-hit has-beens! Fiction, red in tooth and claw…

  • oh btw i just recently started writing again after almost 15 years, i’m still getting back into the flow of things and am currently working on a some what short story.

  • Absolutely cock-waffling brilliant! (Yes, cock-waffling is indeed a word now)
    Another fantastic blog, though my sister is now giving my glances like I’m insane.. Bursting out laughing, then calling someone a cock-waffle? Totally normal.
    Also, would not mind being a figment of your imagination, so long as I get the promised dance on mushroom tops. We will ride giant butterflies across rivers formed of spilling ink. We’ll tickle dragons until they vomit up words of encouragement and wisdom!

  • I have never been to this blog before, but man, your the tits! Hahaha, I have 4 kids, and I have never heard that one! Cock Waffle, sounds like I need a third to complete that move. Love it!

  • Dude, you are AWESOME! Shall I repeat “cock-waffle” again, in case you aren’t sick of it yet? There’s nothing else in all the world that I’d rather be doing for a living… Writing is WONDERFUL.

  • I spend too much time finding ways for my characters to cuss without being too offensive.
    I’m giving up and going with “cock waffle”.

    And if David’s done with her, can I google Snooki now?

  • Thank you! 🙂 I have NEVER bought into that “tortured-writer-only-do-it-if-you-HAVE-to” crap. Yeesh, people, if you hate it that much – for pity’s sake DO SOMETHING ELSE!!! :S

    Also, thank you for making me laugh. A lot. 😀

  • Hang on, Brit writer here. Are we talking American pantsless or British pantsless. Cos if it’s the latter, count me in, I’m all for working with my ladyparts swinging free.

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