Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Tripe, Sybill?


This week's Collective topic is: Things at which I am awesome. My day to post is Monday. You will notice that it is Tuesday. Tuesday at 11:00am. And I still haven't posted. You know why? Because the thing at which I am most awesome in this whole entire world is psyching myself out of being awesome when it comes to writing words. I've spent the last ten years of my life trying to learn how to write words while secretly dreaming that someone would one day pay me money to write words. You know, for a living. And wonky fluke of universe tilting! It happened! It totally happened!

And so I wrote, wrote, wrote. And never, ever slept. And every time -- every single fucking time -- someone would say, "This is good!" Or "You are great!" Or "Here, have some more money because you are actually kind of talented!" I would cower in the corner and rock back and forth and sob, "Doooom! Doooom! Dooooom!" into my shirtsleeves.

Last week, my favorite showrunner/writer of my favorite TV show called me an "oasis in a sea of wankers." He invited me up to Toronto to come play on the set of his show. He asked my advice about his characters. He thinks we're, like, colleagues or something. I got two emails from two BBC news presenters -- a Welsh one and a regular English one -- telling me they think I'm an artist, that I "challenge political opinions and cultural totems," that I embody "love, creativity, kindness, invention, learning." Then I got a whole other email from a whole other showrunner and writer who tracked me down from Twitter because we share the same initials. He said "The way I distinguish between us [on fan forums]: They hate me. They love you." Then I interviewed someone who said, "Everyone on set reads and loves your recaps!" And then! Someone sent me a photo of words I'd written. She'd had them tattooed ONTO HER BODY. FOREVER. It's the SECOND TIME that has happened.

And what do I do with that, you guys? Do I say, "Hey there, look at me! Making my dreams come true! How lucky am I! How stupidly awesome is it that I got this stupid chance to write my stupid words for the whole wide world?"

No. I do not. I sit and stare at a blank Google Doc and when I can't handle that anymore, I pick up a Sharpie and draw boxes and write the word "Block!" "Block!" "Block!" over and over and over again.

I don't know why it happens. I don't understand it. When people think I am an awesome writer, and they want me to write more words in the same vein of that perceived awesomeness, I choke. I just motherfucking choke and it's like Sybill Fucking Trelawney over here, looking at a cup of regular tea and howling about The Grim.

You say: That's a really lovely sentence you wrote there, Heather Anne.

I hear: The giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards! My dear Heather Anne, it is an omen – the worst omen – of death!


Hey, today is Abigail!'s birthday! Let's focus on that!


Jennie said...

In these situations, you should say, "What would Hermione Granger think?" She always could see right through Professor Trelawney.

Jennie said...

PS: Happy birthday, Abigail!

kat said...


just condition yourself to equate writing with basketball. like go shoot hoops or something both before and after you sit down to write something, and keep on doing it until it sticks in your brain that you are awesome at both.

mysterygirl! said...

I can't compete with the great ideas posted above me. But I can say: you are awesome. You're not only living the dream, but you also made the dream happen yourself by working so hard and putting yourself out there. And happy birthday, Abigail.

eclectic said...

Happy Birthday, Schilbo!

Also? Heather Anne, it's okay to be awesome. It's also okay not to be awesome sometimes. It's the dark side of being awesome, little known but not to be feared. Just breathe (but not if Scout is farting nearby). Actually, you should probably ignore this advice, since I know little about being awesome except what I read on the internet. ;)

Ashley said...

God, you're so awful, Heather Anne. You're just a fucking travesty of a writer and how you get paid to write is beyond me. I mean, Bosco's butthole could write better words than you. You're such a patsy and a fako and I HAAATE YOU. Write on that, SUCKER.

(Does that help? P.S. Don't believe a word of it. It's all lies.)

Kiti said...

Happy Birthday, Abigail! You share a birthday with the Republic of Indonesia. Did you know?

Heather Anne, I don't know much about being purely awesome, but I can assure you that this sort of angst is the dark underbelly of success. You think, "They like what I've written so far, but what if I can't do it even one more time? What if I've used up my awesomeness? WHAT IF I FAIL?!" Just write one word. And then the next, and the next after that. The words will come.

me said...

happy birthday Abs,
and HA I agree that you
embody "love, creativity, kindness, invention, learning" and just pure awesomeness.

I love Kats idea.

My new prayer for you is that you get to enJOY this wonderfulness-although it may be a little weird that people tattoo what you say onto them.. you best be locking your doors :)

really though-i love reading what you write.. i'm so happy that you have been achieving so much, and i pray that you get to experience that JOY :)

Sarah G

~Tim said...

Ballpark figure, how many of us would have to get your words tattooed onto our bodies before you accept your awesomeness?

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I think we're kindred spirits. Success makes me squirm. Success in the writing world makes me squirm more. I've been squirming a lot lately. However, I tend to believe that if anyone ever tatooed something I'd written onto a body part, I'd set records for squirming. There's something nice about the word 'squirm', isn't there?

You're going to have to accept the fact that you're amazing. It's the only way that makes sense.