Monday, January 09, 2006

Good and Bad

Bad news: My PC crashed and I lost 600 words last night.
Good news: I coaxed it back into life and wrote another 1000.
Bad news: I'm never going to finish this novel.
Good news: But it's the best novel I've ever written.
Bad news: It's not the best novel I've ever written.
Good news: But I'll probably finish it, to be honest.
Bad news: What will you do after that?
Good news: Another novel. The best one I've ever...
Bad news: What about those short story "commissions" queueing up?
Good news: OK I'll do those instead.
Bad news: But you can't write shorts anymore. Admit it. This is why you haven't written one in over four years.
Good news: All I can do is try. The greatest works of art would never have been created if no one ever tried.
Bad news: But they were created by talented, driven people. Not lazy morons like you who don't save their documents.
Good news: Hmm... Hey! I bought three new DVDs yesterday.
Bad news: Oh yeah? What?
Good news: The Dead Zone (Cronenberg), Made In Britain (Tim Roth), and The Warriors.
Bad news: The Warriors?
Good news: Yeah, it's--
Bad news: The fucking Warriors?
Good news: What?
Bad news: You were just talking about great works of art, and talented, driven people.
Good news: So?
Bad news: The Warriors is not a great work of art.
Good news: I never said it was.
Bad news: So what did you buy it for?
Good news: I dunno. I saw it and I bought it. I watched it maybe twenty years ago, when--
Bad news: Old man.
Good news: What?
Bad news: Old man. Fogey.
Good news: Ah, fuck off. How old are you?
Bad news: Me? I'm 22. Jealous?
Good news: How come you're 22?
Bad news: I'm the self doubt and pessimism that settled into your psyche about 22 years ago. OK?
Good news: Fair enough. Can you fuck off for a while? I want to do a bit of writing.
Bad news: What will you give me if I do?
Good news: My soul.
Bad news: Your soul? Really? I can have your soul?
Good news: Yeah. My mortal soul.
Bad news: Wow, the mortal one? How are you going to deliver that to me?
Good news: Well...
Bad news: In a plastic bag?
Good news: No, I--
Bad news: A casket?
Good news: Just shut up a minute. I'll give you these books I've written. And the manuscript I've nearly fin--
Bad news: Crap.
Good news: What?
Bad news: Crap. That's not your soul.
Good news: Yeah it is. I put my soul into these novels.
Bad news: What a pompous wanker.
Good news: What the fuck would you know? You're only 22.
Bad news: I know more than you. I haven't spent my life dreaming, like you have.
Good news: Nothing wrong with dreaming.
Bad news: Yeah there is. Dreaming gets nothing done. Doing gets stuff done.
Good news: But dreaming got me three books. Plus the one I'm writing now.
Bad news: The one that you're never going to finish.
Good news: I will.
Bad news: You won't, remember? I said that before and you said "But it's the best novel I've ever written."
Good news: It is. And I'll finish it. And then I'll watch The Warriors. And you, dear reader... Why are doing reading this shit? Get off your ass and create some great works of art, man.


Jenny D said...

Oh dear!

I am in the throes of particularly evil novel revisions that have "Bad News" saying to me about 5 times an hour "you are the village idiot of all novel-writers" and "Good News" saying "the fact that you have spent a gazillion hours on this project and rewritten it 4 times or 20+ times depending on how you count means that now is not the time to bail even if you do think that you aren't cut out for commercial publishing & want to preemptively resign yourself to a life of weird-cult-following-no-money-POD publication."

Daniel Hatadi said...

Me too.

Ray said...

Bad News? As in "The Bad News Tour" and "More Bad News"? My, your house must be crowded. I still like THE WARRIORS, even though it's kinda cheesy. But not as much as I like MADE IN BRITAIN. Which is fantastic.

Charlie Williams said...

I think that self-doubt is essential for anyone who wants to write. It drives you to work harder to get rid of all the shit. So that doesn't worry me so much. It's the long, recursive conversations with myself that worry me, when all I meant to say was "My PC crashed and I lost 600 words".

Ray, I'm looking forward to The Warriors. MADE IN BRITAIN was one of the best things to come out of the 80s.

Sarah said...

Ah self doubt. Me last night: hmm, maybe my first novel isn't so bad. But the new one really sucks! 2 second later. No, I think I can work with this 2nd novel, but the last one, oy gevalt, it sucks so much, why are people reading it, gag me.

Yeah, it's a plague, I tell you...