Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Narcissist

Norman Mailer, a self proclaimed novelist/narcissist.

We create and carry on conversations with ourselves. We live as much on the interior as we do the exterior. Perhaps more so. We make sure to catch passing glances at ourselves every time we walk by mirrors not because we think our hair might be out of place, or something might be smeared on our lips, but because we are the most important person in the room. 

We wake up and we prop ourselves up for the day's work head, convincing ourselves that we are the best at what we do. No one can beat us. We are brilliant and the world is ours for the conquering. We might have spent the night besides someone else. A precious loved one perhaps. But we have most definitely slept with ourselves and we will face the day with ourselves.

We Google ourselves.
We check our Amazon rankings obsessively.
We check to see if our name pops up in the news.
We imagine that our marketing peeps think only of us.
We send proposals and stories to editors and agents, and wonder why they don't get back to us 
     within the hour.
We cheer ourselves when the work is going well and beat the shit out of ourselves when it is going
We measure our life, deadline to deadline.
We break hearts because it's the romantic thing to do.
We drive by a car wreck and see a story in it.
We drink too much, eat too much, exercise too much, nap too much, sleep too little, worry a lot,
     ignore problems, and put off the bills.
We dream of escape while escaping, envision dirty sex while making love, feel pain when
     laughing, keep to ourselves when socializing in our favorite bar, make ourselves the center of
     attention at a dinner party thrown in someone else's honor....

We are narcissists and novelists and our world revolves around us. Notice I'm writing from the "We" POV. Whoever said there is no "I" in "We" ain't never been to a writer's conference. There is no bigger collection of "I's" in the world than a writer's conference. Still we feel compelled to attend. After all it will help propel the career forward...My career.

So, novelist, what will you do with yourself today?