Thursday, November 12, 2009
I can’t include a writing sample today. I’ve fallen so completely out of love with my current writing that I despise it like an ex-boyfriend. I’m sure we’ll kiss and make-up sooner or later. It just isn’t happening today. We’re still furious with each other. It’s a rejection issue.
So, let’s talk about...fads. They do tangentially tie-in to the writing remorse, but I’ll save that for last since the fads themselves are infinitely more diverting. And, to give a nod to the theme of the week, I’m thankful that I’ve never deeply engaged in any of the following fads (except I do wear flip-flops to the pool).
10 Random Fads – please post more of your own
10. Beanie Babies: Middle-aged women go berserk over bean bags. BEAN BAGS! In one way, it’s a sweet return to youth. In every other way, it’s disturbing.
9. Decoupage: You take a plaque, glue on a picture of Holly Hobby, and smother it in more glue. For a super-artsy effect, sprinkle it with glittery crystals. Warning -- Even Goodwill won’t take these anymore.
8. Atkins Diet: Let’s eat even more of what makes us fat.
7. Feather King/Queen Hair: Think Charlie’s Angels vintage Farrah Faucett. Since I have curly/fuzzy hair, this style was my holy grail in middle school.
6. Mork and Mindy Suspenders: Now only worn by clowns and elementary school assistant principals who are going for friendly but creepy look that scares kids to death.
5. Rubik’s Cube: In a moment of Alexander the Great greatness, I sliced the Gordian knot by peeling off all the stickers and sticking them back on. They are super hard to peel off and look like crapola when you put them back on. I guess there’s a lesson about cheating in that, but I’m sticking with the Gordian knot brilliance because it’s all I have. I never solved the cube the legitimate way.
4. Tongue piercing: How does that work with Popsicles?
3. Flip Flops: These are especially odious when worn by men with fungus-infested hobbit feet. Invariably, I get behind Fungi Frodo in the airport security line.
2. Twitter: Go ahead and defend it in 150 characters or less.
1. High Concept: Transformers = machines turn into different machines = crapola.
The reason I was thinking about fads is that when you fall out of love, your head turns at every dude passing by. Especially at those two feather kings in the photo. Admit it, you were checking them out. You hope one of the feather kings is your next big-haired love. You’re down in the dumps and you just want someone to reaffirm that you’re worthwhile. There’s even a technical name for it – rebound dating. He’s a fad. A diversion. His hair is a diversion in its own right.
When you hit a rough patch with your writing, it’s tempting to look at whatever is hot in the market and chase it. You think you’ll have a better chance at getting a contract. Surely everyone will love you if you write what everyone wants to read. But you have to be careful. The hot trend of today is tomorrow’s decoupage. By the time you finish the manuscript, everyone’s on to the next big thing. Yesterday’s big thing looks as dated as a leisure suit with white piping trim.
I know the standard advice is to write what you love, but with an eye to the marketplace.
But what if you don’t know what you love anymore?