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Mr. Wrong

Writer's Cramp

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 11/6/2002

Man, pretty soon I'm gonna be able to quit my bullshit job and this bullshit column (the bullshit part of which is that it only runs every other week) because I got it all figured out. No more working for a living, period. I'm gonna write a book.

Yeah! How hard can it be, huh? C'mon, just look at all the books out there. Jesus H. Christ, I mean, even Jesus H. Christ has a book. Hey, Jesus H. Christ! Love ya! Read your book, baby! Anybody option that thing yet? Hah?

Look, the only difference between me and my crappy little column and all those book writers and their big, crappy books is word count, man: word count. And let me tell you, I can bang out some word count. I got words. I can knock me out a heapin' helpin' of some word count. You want some words? I can poot out some word count. I can slap some words all up in there on those pages or whatever. Why, in this space alone, every other week, I have to think up somewhere in the approximate neighborhood of 970 words. So that's about 25,220 words a year, every-other-week-wise, and I'm not even breaking a sweat.

That's because breaking a sweat is something you do when you work hard, get it? I could easily drop, oh, I dunno, maybe a couple thousand words a day, and in a month or two I'd have me a book or two's worth of words. I can never figure out these "writers" and their "writer's block." What the fuck is that? Writer's block, my ass. And that's right where the block is, too: the ass. That's just all these writers trying to bamboozle your ass into believing this writing shit is some kinda big difficult ordeal and it takes a lot of profound brainiac ability or deep emotional emotions welling up into beautiful proses and so forth upon the printed page. What a gigantic, fragrant bucket-load of BS that is.

No offense to writers of actual literature or whatever, OK? But just take a look at this list of books I copied from the New York Times Web site. The New York Times is a high-class newspaper. It's not like most newspapers. It's the Most Important Newspaper in America. America does not give a fig about what gets printed in the Washington Times or the Los Angeles Times, see? America only cares about the New York Times. It's where many people look when they want "the news" or some of that "op-ed" stuff that seems to be so informative and provocative. So look, here's some books in the New York Times weekly list of books that are selling lots of books:

HARDCOVER FICTION
1. Q Is for Quarry, by Sue Grafton
2. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
3. Chasing the Dime, by Michael Connelly
4. Nights in Rodanthe, by Nicholas Sparks
5. The Janson Directive, by Robert Ludlum

HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. Leadership, by Rudolph W. Giuliani with Ken Kurson
2. My Losing Season, by Pat Conroy
3. Live From New York, by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller
4. Let's Roll!, by Lisa Beamer with Ken Abraham
5. Sandy Koufax, by Jane Leavy

HARDCOVER ADVICE
1. Get With the Program, by Bob Greene
2. The One Minute Millionaire, by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen
3. Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson
4. A Life God Rewards, by Bruce Wilkinson with David Kopp
5. Haley's Hints, by Graham Haley and Rosemary Haley

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

1. I'm Gonna Like Me, by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
2. Kay Thompson's Eloise Takes a Bath, illustrated by Hilary Knight, edited by Mart Crowley
3. Halloween, by Jerry Seinfeld, illustrated by James Bennett
4. Who's That Knocking On Christmas Eve?, written and illustrated by Jan Brett
5. The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Mary Engelbreit

This Robert Ludlum guy looks like a good example to follow. He has another book titled The Sigma Protocol in the paperback section. This joker's got it down to a science, man. You take a surname or letter from the Greek alphabet, and then you put a commanding noun behind it. At least I think those are nouns. I might need to hire somebody to help me with the detail work, word-wise. Anyway, I have never read a book by the great Robert Ludlum, nor do I intend to, but damn, this guy knows how to work it real good. I think my first book title will be The Sigma Directive, which I will follow with its sequel, The Janson Protocol.

As much as I hate to limit myself, I figure the nonfiction and children's categories are out of my wheelhouse, unless I get around to writing that A Child's Garden of Cursewords book I have been kicking around. And I have never done anything important, and I certainly don't hang around enough with anybody who does so that I could be a bloodsucking parasite and squirmy-worm my way into their lives so that I could muckle onto them and suck a book's worth of nonfiction writing out of their body, or corpse.

But, man, the hardcover advice category? Ho, shit! I'm all about the hardcover advice. I'll give it to ya real hardcover, baby. I figure my first book will be a hardcover advice book about dieting. It will be called Eat Less Food and Lose Weight, and I'll find some doctors to write it with me. Actually, the doctors won't have to do anything except let me use their name on the cover, with the M.D. after it, of course, so I can get a little credibility. After that one goes platinum or whatever happens to the books on the New York Times list, I'll tackle the children's and nonfiction genres simultaneously with James and The Giant F-Bomb. Or maybe Harry Potter and the Chamber of Bullshit.

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