21 December 2010

If you read anything about how to write

Read Kuzhali Manickavel's LOLOLO from a place that doesn't have a Taco Bell.

I would quote some of it here, except for fact that I want to quote this, and that, and it adds up to all of it.

And now I'll state in public what I said to her in private, and add some more boot.

Why are you reading anything on how to write?

Why are you hanging around with people who have no taste or judgment that is worth a dead donkey, let alone taking to heart what they say about what you have to say?

You have found the Key: that, as you say, dammit, I must quote you: "I think the older and more cynical you get, the more you start to lean towards the LOLOLOLO perspective, especially when rape references are thrown in like chocolate sprinkles."

So use that key. Either ignore the chocolate sprinkle scatterers, or grind them to make your bread. But upon your unique soul! don't pay heed to their advice unless you use it for grist.

You are not a sausage manufactured in Iowa or New York. Hoo bloody ray. When you write, it is not because you "want to be a writer" but because you have something to say. You are not a pose, not posing in a stance of irony to cover your lack of talent/something worth saying. Pretend that you live in a time when all this teaching and advising and workshopping about writing, especially amongst people who haven't lived beyond the nursery of learning and advice, is unbelievable.

You don't need any of it. It has held you back. Get away from it. Wash it from your head.

I have a list I'm making of people who have taken a quarter century to recover from literary higher learning. How many years will it take a brilliant writer like you, to recover from advice?


JP said...

Manickavel's post is brilliant. Also she writes with a definite Tamil accent!

anna tambour said...

Isn't she b! And thank you for the accent note. I crave more Tamil-accented writing, though I suspect that Manickavel has many accents that she plays with, and this is only a teensy bit of her talent showing.

Her most valuable accent is her own voice, which should be given more opportunities.