"When are you going to write a book of your own?"
It’s a question I get frequently, though I suppose there are worse. “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?” is one often asked by my grandmother’s friends. I never have the heart to tell them that there’s no sense in buying the cow when the milk is given away for free - or that I am not enough of a degenerate to attract the women I want. At least “why are you breathing through your mouth?” is easier: I have a deviated septum.
I am not sure I am enough of a degenerate to write a truly good book of my own. At this age, I have little experience to draw on, and have done little that is truly significant. Anything I could write about - substance abuse, mild hijinks, a failed relationship of my own doing - is rather banal. Easton Ellis has covered upper-middle class ennui in young people better than I ever have.
One day last year, I resigned myself to the fact that I will never be a great race car driver. I do not have the spatial sense or the appetite for risk that is required to finish P1.”That doesn’t mean you can’t ever be a monster on an open track day or a back road” said Jack.
And so I wonder about the outcome of a still verdictless writing career. Write now, I am excellent working in the shadows, helping other people’s stories become the best they can be. It is far more lucrative than creating my own content, a sad comment on our society’s valuation of writing as a skill and a vocation, a classic case of misallocated resources if I ever heard one. One day, we will look back and wondered what happened to journalism and creative writing, and we will have Arianna Huffington and her robber baron friends to thank. I imagine many now-destitute scribes would like to do so with a .223 round to the skull.
But I am not ready to give up on creating my own work just yet. I simply don’t have a story to tell that is compelling - no tale of woe, loss, heartbreak or destitution. And quite frankly, I am ok with that.