Esteban and I watched Wonder Boys over the weekend. It’s a great film—it’s deftly scripted, with lots of dark humor and quirky twists.
But I couldn’t get past its weird romanticized notion of writers’ lives.
The gifted young novelist was a pathological liar. The professor was a pothead with a thing for his boss’ wife. The editor was a debauched drunkard. And they were all struggling to find inspiration.
I was left wondering whether I’m doing it wrong.
Not once has my life been consumed by a rambling manuscript, nor have I ever felt truly “blocked.” Sometimes inspiration strikes, and—as Jack London said—sometimes you have to go after it with a club. But that’s just part of the job.
I suppose they make films about brilliant, deranged writers because that’s what sells. (No one would go to a movie about an insurance writer who snacks on scones.)
But still, I wonder: Would a more interesting life make for more interesting writing?