I’m “sorry” my writing is so “bad”

July 22, 2008

FINALLY. A blog I can really get behind.

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.

YES. Those drive me crazy. Like when you’re at the grocery store and there’s a hand-written sign reading:

“FRESH CORN”, 10/3!

The only other thing I need now is The Blog Of Random Uppercasing. And I don’t mean the kind of uppercasing I do, which is of course also wrong and lame and annoying but springs from GENUINE EXCITEMENT ABOUT SOMETHING OR OTHER.

No, I mean random Initial Capping.


Like you’re just reading along and it’s all “Later that Fall, Rodney and Julia went to a local Apple farm to pick farm-fresh Apples.”



Are you watching Generation Kill? It is SO GREAT. I love it. I have to bite back feelings that my obvious life calling was to write this show and I missed it, so I might as well become a boxcar hobo and ride the rails from now on. That’s how great it is.

It’s particularly good for someone like me, who really likes to write about stoic men who don’t say much (or, who may talk a lot, but don’t say much. You know?) – there’s a scene in the second episode where one of the team leaders watches this shell-shocked other Marine wander around this field of standing hay, and finally he calls out, like it will help: “Hey buddy, you okay? You need anything? Food? Water?” and I guess it kind of does help. And. I KNOW, you’re going to laugh at me, but I found it really touching.

Luckily, a few seconds later, all the Marines were back to whipping out astonishing ethnic and sexual slurs, bless! I really like it whenever the Evan Wright character mouths a delighted “WOW!” in the back seat after a particularly good run by the Marines in his Humvee, because I would be doing the same thing.


I have been talking to some of my young-lady writer friends about how so many girl writers undersell themselves something fierce. “Oh… this? Oh, it’s not very good. It might be awful! You probably shouldn’t read it. I’m sorry I wrote it. Nevermind. Have you seen any boxcars around here that need a hobo?”

Which is pointless, because maybe part of you is hoping that the other person will go “Stop, stop, you’re splendid, what are you talking about? Here, have this writing award and a dog and a basket of organic fruit!”

But that never happens. What actually happens is, the other person listens to you blab about how much you suck and thinks things like “Whoa, I’m glad I found out about the awful writing before I did business with her. WHAT A LOSER.” etc. etc.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m some kind of superfantastic writer who could go mano-a-mano* with Tina Fey or William Monahan, but on the other hand I don’t actually think I’m so lousy I need to constantly apologize for my writing, either. AND YET I DO.

“This is probably really bad, but–”
“You don’t need to read it. I mean, it’s probably pretty lame.”
“I had this idea, but it’s okay if you hate it.”
“This is probably really stupid, but I was thinking that maybe there’s a movie about–”

I used to be extremely suspicious of people who would pitch you ideas like so: “Yeah, I’m writing this spec. It’s fuckin’ amazing, it’s set in Venice at the turn of the last century, pirates in canoes have taken over the canals, and it’s up to one man – Don Rupertino – and his band of merry gondoliers to stop them. The set-pieces are spectacular. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

And, okay, I’m still pretty suspicious of those people, but I would also like an injection of whatever kind of serum gives them the ability to STOP APOLOGIZING AND GET ON WITH IT. I believe that there is a sizable market among creative types for such a vaccine, should any scientists out there wish to do a little independent research in their lab’s slower hours.

*I can never remember if that means “hand to hand” or “man to man”. I guess I can’t really go man-to-man with anyone. Let’s pretend it means something like “EPIC YET HILARIOUS FACEOFF!”


3 Responses to “I’m “sorry” my writing is so “bad””

  1. naomi Says:

    SIGH. Yes, we just had this conversation, didn’t we? And then I read another blog post about that whole coddling-your-sons-creates-men-with-vast-reserves-of-feelings-of-entitlement phenomenon and I wondered if they aren’t somehow related.

    P.S. we need a new word for the conversations that we have that are completely done via email. E-versations is probably the obvious choice, but so 1996.

  2. Elana Says:

    I like mailsations. Because it sounds like one of those kiosks you have in a mall with a pun on SENSATIONAL. Or, like, a variety of cheap aromatherapy candles produced by GLADE. (“Roomsations”, “Scentsations”, “Airsations”, etc. I COULD GO ON.)

  3. naomi Says:

    Hee! Yes, I’ll go with mailsations. Excellent.

    Also, you should practice this in the mirror (with feeling, please):


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