Is it possible to read a David Sedaris novel without becoming 2/3 parts jealous of a man who can make a living telling stories about his own life, 1/3 part delusional in thinking maybe one day you could maybe do the same? I wonder how many hordes of “ohmigodIWantToBeJustLikeYouDavidSedaris” fans does the man have to placate with generic writerly advice.
Post-reading “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” I’m beginning to think that becoming a Sedaris-styled writer requires a little more chutzpah in your day-to-day dealings. Beyond just being able to write in a relatable fashion (which is kinda important, I guess ::scoff::), one needs to accomplish at least these four things in order to model themselves after the king of self-reflective short fiction:
a) enter more awkward situations that end poetically
b) put oneself in mild danger by talking to as many shifty strangers as possible
c) become infinitely more neurotic and macabre
d) develop a harmful habit, and travel to a foreign country to break it
In the end, I find it easier to complain that interesting things simply don’t happen to me rather than face the possible truth that I simply can’t make things interesting.