As I sit here procrastinating revision of a new book, I find myself looking through my favorite guilty pleasure.
You see, there is this website called Reddit, and in this website, there are a number of what are called subreddits, little mini forums where people vent, share and generally contribute to the community of heir choice in the way of their choosing. My two favorite subreddits (when I am feeling particularly self-indulgent) are /r/writing and /r/writingcirclejerk. I won’t give direct links to these, because, well, it’s like jazz–if you have to ask, you don’t get it.
/r/writing has been through a lot of changes over the years. When I began work on my first novel, I found the subreddit to be a font of useful links (I discovered Chuck Wendig’s site this way), clever insights (Oh! Show, don’t tell), and generous advice for new writers. Maybe it still is. Honestly, writing is like that. After a while you don’t need to hear “show don’t tell” or “remove your passive voice” over and over. And for some people, this is still valuable information, and I love that about the subreddit. Somewhere down the road however, there came a point where /r/writing became silly. I don’t mean this in a bad way… or maybe I do… maybe it’s the whiskey. Let me explain.
Writers love to talk about writing. I mean, we fucking LOVE it. WE. FUCKING. LOVE. IT. Don’t believe me? Ask any writing question to any writer in any venue and you’d better have a comfortable chair handy, because we will talk your fucking ears off like a rat on a corncob about whether we are pantzers or plotters, morning or evening, drunk or sober. ASK ME ABOUT MY PROCESS! DO IT! ASK ME!
I am guilty of this, as are all writers. Please, for the sake of our friendship, don’t ask me about my process, because I think there are few authors out there who love anything more than talking about writing. And it’s only interesting to us. And therein lies the problem.
/r/writing has become this: writers talking about writing. And it’s fucking addictive to writers. We’re like little bees, buzzing around our little hive, shaking our stingered asses to show everyone how WE found the nectar and how to make the best fucking honey money can buy. It is a downward spiral of self-indulgence that I think, sucks almost very writer down into its nether-realm, myself included. Why else would I be venting about this instead of revising this book?
Enter /r/writingcirclejerk, the irreverent silent goth kid in the back row, who loves nothing more than to make fun of the English majors sitting at the front of the class, trying to be Hemingway. /r/writingcirclejerk is hilarious, and cruel, and clever all at the same time, and it has been a saving grace for me during times when the drain-spiral of self-indulgent writers has become too much to bare.
So it is with this post that I salute you, /r/writingcirclejerk, for making me remember to stop talking about writing and just fucking write this damned thing, because that’s what writers do. We fucking write.