So, I was at a coffeehouse yesterday and had the distinct displeasure of watching a “writer” at work.
To back up, I live in a college town. I’m used to the average coffeehouse denizen – the “Poly Dollies” who wear short shorts and Uggs, the frat boy trying to hit on said dollies, the random businessman reading the paper, the retired couple getting out the house. You know, the usual.
I was there because I was trying to study for an exam and I had learned the day before that even with my husband around to wrangle the baby, I wasn’t going to get much studying done because gosh darn it, my daughter is way more fun than studying. Yes, studying – I am delusionally trying to do a masters in tax law while working and raising a 9 month old. Why? I’m not only evil, I’m insane. And I started the program well before I had the baby.
Anyway, so all the normal types were there and we were all peacefully co-existing, when the Writer showed up. This person set up their laptop, pulled a dozen books out of their bag and covered their table. No biggie. I mean, I’d done the same thing, but with dry boring law books instead of anything fun, but that’s just my crappy, crappy life right now.
Then the Writer proceeded to announce to the barista taking orders that they were writing a book. When I say to the barista, the entire place heard it because it was not so subtly bellowed to the entire room. Yeah, really.
I bit back a groan as the barista oh so politely nodded and asked what kind of book. Here we go, I thought. And off we did. The description defies retelling, but needless to say that while the Writer felt they were going to write the next NY Times bestseller, they managed to denigrate numerous genres of fiction, including a couple that I personally happen to be published in. No, my friends, this Writer wouldn’t stoop to the plebeian lows that I exist in, they were writing the Next Big Thing.
And then, I kid you not, they said “Like Nicholas Sparks.”
I almost snorted tea out my nose. Seriously. I mean, I have nothing against Nicholas Sparks. Actually, that’s not true. I have a lot against Nicholas Sparks, but that’s a post for another time about happy endings. But if you want to read Nicholas Sparks because you happen to like reading about people dying of cancer or some other tragic thing, that’s fine: you do you. But I think we should all agree that even if you do enjoy reading his work, he isn’t the greatest writer since sliced bread. He’s popular, but as we were all pretty aware in high school, popular doesn’t mean you’re the best.
Oblivious to my semi-delirious stress giggling, the Writer then sat down and proceeded to pound away at the keyboard, occasionally referencing their (wait for it) self-help books that they’d brought along. Did I miss something where Nicholas Sparks took up writing self-help books?
The best, besides the proclaiming of Nicholas Sparks, was that every so often, the Writer would pause, stare off into space, and then say “ah ha!” loudly and go back to typing.
Now, everyone has their process, and to each their own, but I have never seen a process that was so much more about the people watching the process than the book being written. But who knows, maybe it works for them. Maybe they are producing the greatest work of self-help/fiction (possibly redundant?) the world has ever seen.
But as the title proclaims, I’m evil. And I’m going to snicker snarkily about the douchebag author at the coffee shop.
To sum up, don’t be that person. Seriously. I’ll smack you.