I always tell people, “You don't get laid for writing books.” That's a pretty thought, but I can confirm that it isn't true. The sad reality is that there's a ton of posturing in the literary world. There are tons of Chads and Stacies that would push poor Kafka into a locker and then start viciously making out leaning against that same locker. Shit, I'm probably a Great Value lit answer to Bender from The Breakfast Club. (Would that just be called The Book Club? Fuck me...) The book world really isn't all that far off from high school. We're all awkward and trying to sell ourselves when we hardly even know who we are. Genres are just the cliques we wedge ourselves into. Financially successful and established writers are the teachers and coaches we mimic in shortcuts to identity. Editors are fucking nerds, but more so the chill kinda nerd that smokes pot while playing D&D. What I'm tryin' to say is that despite all our marketing, all the interviews, the readings, and the tweets that only other literary-minded people could possibly understand, it's nothing but foreplay.
The thing with books is that they require patience. You write a song and it takes three minutes to play on guitar, or kazoo, or whatever instrument you play, five minutes tops. (What? You wrote an eight minute song for your crush in high school? The fuck did you take yourself for? Zeppelin?) Make a movie and it asks about two hours of an audience. Reading a book is an investment. You're practically asking someone to do homework. Then you expect to have a conversation about it? Homie, that's a book report. Now, I'm not saying that producing a book is any harder to do than those other examples. Quite frankly, as someone whose tampered with all three (I don't mean to brag but my kazoo always brings the house down at parties.), writing books was by far the easiest. It's just you at the desk on your own time. (There's a great Hank Moody quote about writing just being about what you come up with when your butt's at the desk and how everything else is playing dress-up. I might've jacked that idea for this article...) No scheduling, little-to-no technology, no financial burden. I've read some tweets about how being an author is just as difficult as being a carpenter. Frankly, I think that's uncut bullshit, but the craft doesn't come without its challenges. The heaviest burden I've encountered as a writer is the solitude that comes with the territory.
Reading really is kind of like fucking. I'm no Casanova, but I've been publishing for a decade and my readership's only dwindled, so it might be the aptest comparison for me. Asking someone to read your book is like making love with a runny nose, or during a bout of chronic flatulence. It's about as intimate as you can be with someone and you're also risking the worst kind of embarrassment. It doesn't matter if your work is pure fiction, or if there isn't an ounce of autobiography between the lines. You can wear whatever brand you like, and you can sell yourself however you like, but once you're between the sheets with a reader, it's all about performance. When I was on my man, Eric Zavinski's podcast a year back, I talked about every time your significant other is reading someone else, it's kind of like getting cheated on. Call it fragile masculinity or possessiveness, but I stand by that statement. A player just wants his girl to wear the jersey with his number on the back is all, ya know? You want to pleasure your reader; you want to take them on a ride that'll make their fucking eyes water. Then, of course, you want that pillow talk where they tell you how amazing you are.
-Todd The Bod
What am I getting at? I don't remember. We really need to hire some content creators, because I'm fishing around in my pocket for loose change and coming up with lint, here. If you wanna do your boy a solid, send us your worst so we can get hits off it. Don't worry, we'll include a link to your twitter, or whatever. Jesus.