You’ve got a mind-blowing novel. Your collection of short stories is going to rend asunder the fabric of the literary universe. The brilliance of your novella makes Harold Bloom so flabbergasted he starts self-abusing, straight-up punching himself in the gullet and weeping. “What the fuck,” Harold Bloom sobs miserably. “Why *punch* even *punch* go on?”
Maybe you think that’s impressive. Unfortunately, I’m here to dropkick you down the stairs of hard truth, so listen up: Nobody cares.
Sorry. It’s true. You’re not a real writer because of your critical accolades. Nope – no one gives a shit. Nor does your astonishing talent matter to anybody. Oh, and please believe me when I say your tireless, ceaseless diligence in perfecting your craft is just about as important as a shit I took in an alley on my way to the office. Take it from me – I’ve been there. I’ve read the proverbial writing on the wall, too. I’ve seen the tiny, struggling embers of what would be my career asa famous, important writer dying in the howling gale of irrelevance.
You’re not a real writer, friends, until you’re on twitter. That’s why I got the handle @floppingtitties.
That’s the kind of name that carries real weight on twitter. That’s the kind of name that gets you some attention. That’s the kind of name, friends, that catapults you from anonymity to the hot lights of stardom. I mean, sure I had a few stories published here and there pre-@floppingtitties. I was making slow progress, taking the first steps on a long road to honing my voice and embracing my chosen art form.
But post? Things have changed. I started getting shout-outs from Big Rush.
“Okay, you got perhaps the greatest tweet in human history,” you’re grumbling. “So what?”
Oh, I don’t know – how about this giant bag of money AGNI just sent me. They didn’t even send a note. It’s just a pile of $100 bills that smell faintly of adoration. That’s the fourth one this week. I just throw it in the pile next to the dowry from The New Yorker. I have to change my home address!
Like Claire-bear said, it’s called #klout. That was a hashtag, by the way. I had my social media coach look that up. If you’re struggling to make your mark in the socialmediasphere, I’d advise getting one. Once you do, you can start devoting more time to making ritzy social plans with other geniuses:
I’ll never forget what LaValle said to me on the limo ride home that night, after drinks: “Mmmrrgghh,” he said. “Ah bluuuurgh.” He was really drunk, but who was I to hold it against him? We’re kindred spirits with twitter handles, and I was too busy trying to keep a liquor-crazed Matt Specktor from diving out the moon roof.
I’m not going to sit here and prattle on and on about how great I am – chances are you’ve already heard. What I will say, though, is that none of my fame and fortune came about because I committed myself to improving incrementally as a storyteller or fostering relationships in the global literary community. Not at all. And my hope is that those who come after me can take away one crucial, simple lesson.
It was the flopping titties.
Kenneth Gagnon is the single most important voice in literature today. You can read his essays and Nicolas Cage fan fiction at kennethgagnon.com and follow him @floppingtitties.