Tag Archives: The Oatmeal

Cloud and Moon

One from a few years back:

I spent so many lunch breaks goofing around on Magnetic Poetry.

Tomorrow I start a few more projects, including storing original poetry (from scratch, no gizmos) in a paper journal. I’ve amazed a collection of paper journals and they are all empty, much to my chagrin. A few years ago I gave a few coworkers Peter Pauper journals. The other day I was in the store where I bought them, saw this one, and thought it would be perfect for storing poetry clacked out on a computer or chicken-scratched into a spiral notebook. Now I’m obsessed with that brand.

Sometimes I have this fantasy of amassing great and vast shelves of journals that people find upon my demise. They would marvel at the brilliance of my poetry and prose, read with awe my chronicling of an era and the human condition, and weep at the tragedy of such a magnificent scribe of the times passing into the Great Beyond without having published so much as one goddamn chapbook.

Too bad I hate writing. No, really. I do. Journalism is what I do for a living, to pay the bills, and writing poetry or fiction are just things I do to pass the time when I run out of other ways of distracting myself. At most, poetry and fiction are for catharsis, but even then, writing does not make me remotely happy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Sylvia Plath about to put my head in an oven. But writing, no matter what kind, does not bring me joy, lift my heart, or even please me. The Oatmeal sums it up perfectly: Writing makes me perfectly unhappy.

I suspect it’s that way for a lot of writers. I don’t know any who are gleeful when practicing their craft, not like a lot of artists and musicians are. Sure there are tragic artists and musicians—indeed, some of my favorite musicians are either seething with rage or miserably morose—but you’ll never see a writer smiling ear to ear as they write the way Eddie Van Halen did when he played his guitar. Writing is really not a good time for many of us—and that’s okay. Somebody’s gotta do it.

That last one will be me in less than half an hour.