And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a chronicler.” So God made a writer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to get up around 11, update his tumblr, work four hours in a coffee shop, update his tumblr again, drink a High-Life and then go to the Mission and stay past midnight talking about ‘second act problems’ in his unwritten play.” So God made a writer.
“I need somebody with arms tattooed enough to have a full sleeve and yet straight-edge enough to pick up SAT tutoring gigs. Somebody to call agents, tame faulty MacBooks, come home hungry, wait for dinner until his wife’s done working at her corporate job, and tell her that he’ll be done with the first draft real soon—and mean it.” So God made a writer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newly published Saunders collection. And realize it really is that good. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can waste an hour on the correct usage of ‘which’ versus ‘that,’ can make sense of Finnegans Wake without footnotes, who can fashion query letters out of thin air, draft outlines and put on readings. And who, during Pulitzer time and Book Award season, will be depressed by Tuesday noon, then, hurting from ‘the lack of recognition,’ decide to maybe give it up and become a marketer.” So God made a writer.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to take rejection and burn drafts, yet gentle enough to tend to the infected paper cut in his right hand, who will stop his typing for an hour to hunt down the complete etymology of the word “avuncular.” It had to be somebody who’d do intensive research and not cut corners. Somebody to write, and edit, and rewrite, and workshop, and reorder, and despair, and abandon, and then finish the manuscript and self-stamp the submission and pay the contest fee and wait in agony for months for a reply.
“Somebody who’d avoid having a family together with the wife until he gets an advance, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with defiance, when his father asks him, ‘What are you doing with your life?’
“‘I’m doing what I was meant to do.’”
So God made a writer.