Garrison Keillor cracks me up. You've gotta read his column entitled "Listen up, all you whiners" from yesterday's edition of the Chicago Tribune.
Here's a brief excerpt:
OK, let me say this once and get it off my chest and never mention it again. I have had it with writers who talk about how painful and harrowing and exhausting and almost impossible it is for them to put words on paper and how they pace a hole in the carpet, anguish writ large on their marshmallow faces, and feel lucky to have written an entire sentence or two by the end of the day.
It's the purest form of arrogance: Lest you don't notice what a brilliant artist I am, let me tell you how I agonize over my work. To which I say: Get a job. Try teaching 8th-grade English, five classes a day, 35 kids in a class, from September to June, and then tell us about suffering.
The fact of the matter is that the people who struggle most with writing are drunks. They get hammered at night and in the morning their heads are full of pain and adverbs. Writing is hard for them, but so would golf be, or planting alfalfa, or assembling parts in a factory.
The biggest whiners are the writers who get prizes and fellowships for writing stuff that's painful to read, and so they accumulate long resumes and few readers and wind up teaching in universities where they inflict their gloomy pretensions on the young. Writers who write for a living don't complain about the difficulty of it. It does nothing for the reader to know you went through 14 drafts of a book, so why mention it?
The truth, young people, is that writing is no more difficult than building a house, and the only good reason to complain is to discourage younger and more talented writers from climbing on the gravy train and pushing you off.
Young people are pessimistic enough these days without their elders complaining about things. Shut up. Life is pretty good when you grow up.