God Will Give it to Prince - An Open Letter to My Boyfriend about Last Night
Dear Boyfriend, I know you're probably thinking your new girlfriend has a screw loose. Right before you went upstairs to read in bed, I was downstairs at the kitchen table, tweeting and trying to make my daily writing goat (yes, goat - I have writing goats, not goals - goats are cuter and less intimidating). And a few minutes later, you hear the sound of sobs coming from the vicinity of my face. You came downstairs to check on me and seemed skeptical when I told you I was fine, just tired. You ordered me off to bed and didn't seem thrilled when I said, "I'm coming...as soon as I finish this part."
Let me explain. When I told you the other day that I have no talents, I meant it. I can't sing or play a musical instrument. I have no artistic ability whatsoever. I've never shown any sort of aptitude for sports. People say I'm good at Zumba but that's code for "You're good at making an ass of yourself and not caring." All I can do is write stories. That's all I got. And when you only have one egg in your basket, you guard that goddamn egg with your life.
Last night prior to my minor breakdown, I tweeted, "When you're on deadlines, every month is #NaNoWriMo. It loses some of its charm. #firstworldproblems." I regretted tweeting immediately. It sounded as if I was complaining about people paying me to write books for them. What I meant by that tweet is that when you get a book deal and you're contractually obligated to produce works of fiction, the concept of #NaNoWriMo becomes something of a moot point. Every month I have to produce around 50,000 words. It’s not a fun adventure. It’s a job.
Before all writers who were destined for public consumption are born, some God, some angel, some demon reached out and tapped us on the forehead and said, "You will write lies that people will pay money to read." We are without a doubt the most privileged people on the face of the earth. People pay us money to read our goddamn sentences. Can you wrap your mind around that? You. Me. Our sentences. Our words. Shit we pull out of brains and our asses--people pay us for that? *mind boggles* Can you imagine a bum standing on a street corner offering sentences for spare change? Ludicrous, right? But that's what we are.
Last night in bed, you chided me for overworking myself. You said, "If I catch you crying at the kitchen table again, I'm going to take your computer away." I love you for caring that much about me. But I have to tell you a story about Michael Jackson so you'll understand…
Once upon a time a record producer friend of Michael Jackson's caught him in the studio in the wee hours of the morning. The producer said to Michael Jackson, "You can work on the song tomorrow. Get some sleep." And Michael Jackson responded, "I have to write this song now, or God will give it to Prince."
So despite exhaustion I write my books. If I don't, God will take them from me and give them to Anne Rice.
In conclusion…Yes, you’re right. I am exhausted. I am writing myself into the ground. I am trying to do too much in too little time. But I have been given opportunities unpublished writers would pluck out their own eye to have, and I know it.
But I am a writer before anything else, and you can have my computer when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands. ;)