Editor’s note: Due to a completely unrelated attack from the Ether Bunny, this column was supposed to run yesterday. It’s just as swell today, but if you’re looking for Michael Davis’s column, well, it was run yesterday. However, when you’re done reading this, go read Michael by clicking here. Thank you.
There are days when I hate writing, just hate it, and this day and this moment is one of them.
Why? Because nothing is working. Absolutely nothing. I have, as of this moment, five different versions of this column in the works including this one. I don’t like any of them. I’m presently reduced to writing about how the writing is not going well. Sad, Isn’t it? Not something in which I’m likely to get a lot of sympathy for, though. I mean, a lot of people have to get up and go into jobs that they may not care for. They do it day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out and so on. Maybe they don’t ever get to love their job. I mean, I make my living writing comics. That should be fun, right?
Not today. Today I’m in hell.
Most days I really do love what I do. I get paid pretty nice for it. I have a really quick commute, from the kitchen into the back bedroom, which serves as the office. We had friends who lived with us for awhile and, in the morning, I’d wave to them as they went to work and announce I was beginning my commute, too. And then I amble away. They recently allowed how they wanted to kill me at those moments. I knew that. It was part of the smug job satisfaction.
Of course, there’s a downside to it. With the office so close to hand, it’s sometimes hard to get away from the office. Let me also say that, at the moment, I’m not too crazy about my boss, either. That’s creates a problem because he’s there in the mirror every time I use the bathroom. The Bastard doesn’t give me vacation time, damn few weekends off, and increases the workload any time he can pile it on saying, “Sure, we can do that. Tuesday? No problem.” That’s the joy of self-employment and being your boss, folks – you got nobody to blame but yourself. Bastard.
The rational side of me says that days like this happen from time to time. It’s normal. It’s happened before. Just ride it out. The irrational, craze-o side of me says OMIGAWD, I’M DEAD! I’M NEVER GOING TO WRITE AGAIN! I don’t think anyone who is artistic quite understands how it works – how it is we’re able to do what we do. Most of us don’t want to know. It’s magic. Alchemy. If you question it too close or ask about it too much, it’ll all go away. Writers are a cowardly and superstitious lot.
Maybe a blood sacrifice will help. No, Mary won’t let me get close to the cats when I’m in this mood.
I know what I should do. Just – walk away. Do something else. Clean something. Fix something. There’s lots of things around here that needs my doing one or the other or both. Eh, I don’t feel like it. I’m the mood for squalor.
Go take a nap. This happens sometimes when I get a little too tired and cranky. Naps are great things. It’s your own personal time machine. You go to sleep now and you wake up a little bit in the future.
I don’t want a nap. I took a nap. It didn’t take.
The Bastard insists I sit here until I get something going. The bills aren’t going to pay themselves, mister. You write something or you sit there and stare at that screen until you do!
Ghod, I hate him.
I’ll fix the Bastard. I’ll go online. Eh, I’ve already been to all my sites. Three times. Nothing new. I hate my computer. It’s blocking me. I know it. Glenn, our computer guru, keeps telling me not to bang my head against the computer. It probably isn’t helping me and he says it really isn’t good for the computer. Stupid computer.
I do NOT have writer’s block. I do not I do not I do not. I’m just intellectually and artistically. . .constipated. Maybe my imagination is having Erectile Dysfunction. ED. Sidenote: what a stupid name for thatmalfunction. ED. Mister ED. Why not call it what it is – Limp Dick Syndrome? That’s what’s wrong – my creativity is having a Limp Dick episode.
I know, I know. . .too much information.
I can’t believe I’m actually thinking of sending this in.
Look, folks, maybe we just need to call this off for the week, okay? Let’s just say I wasn’t able to come up with anything due to a Creative Limp Dick Episode (CLDE). I don’t know what this is but it sure as hell isn’t a column. Maybe next week, okay?
Or we’ll run an ad for an anti-CLDE drug. MUSE – so that when the time is right, you’re ready to write.*
* Warning: if you have a writing frenzy lasting longer than four hours, contact your editor. You may be writing career ending drivel.
John Ostrander writes GrimJack: The Manx Cat, new installments of which appear every Tuesday here on ComicMix, and much of Munden’s Bar, new installments of which will reappear anon here on ComicMix. Both for free. His new Suicide Squadmini-series is out there from DC Comics, and his Star Wars: Legacy is out there from Dark Horse, both at finer comics shops across the galaxy.
John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.