Bookmark #934

Most contemporary writing is about driving a point home as perversely and blandly as possible, and most people who now call themselves writers are mere journalists or essayists. I stand corrected; both are respected professions when done right, and I shall not insult them with this association. Most of them are peddlers who hawk snake oil and half-baked insights with reused sentences and phrases. For me, the greatest pain is when I reach a place where I am supposed to tell others who I am, and writing comes up. And then, they tell me they write too and look at me with the wide eyes of a child waiting to show their painting to an adult. Then, like the aggravating aunt who chimes in only to brag, they tell me anyway: I write about business. Or if it is not business, it is some other made-up plague like self-improvement.

Then, the already trudging conversation trudges further, and to humour them while scouring frantically for a window to jump out of, I ask them what they read, and then they mention books from the aisle I would not even gloss over. The endless drivel, a picture of the author plastered on the cover, and a bold typeface suggesting the answer is within the pages. The answer to what? God knows.

The recipe to a decent life is simple, and the search for meaning ends with a cup of coffee, and then, you begin again the next day.

This hand-holding is the problem. Most people—and I do not intend to gloss over the issues of the truly ailing—do not need as much help as they believe they do. People who need help need help, but on most days, most well-adjusted people, and by well-adjusted, I mean those capable of picking terrible books from concessionaire bookstands, do not need another trick. They merely need to read more poetry. They only need to walk a little. But, well, we cannot do much about this; the ship has sailed.

Now, I must bear the brunt of it while I meet another published author at a cafe who shall tell me about the secret to it all. Yet, with all his arcane knowledge, we shall both sit a table apart in the same cafe. Only, I will be unbothered, maybe read a proper book, and he will fidget and sell every bit of himself the first chance he gets.

// if you want to support this walk to nowhere, you can pitch in here