Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Worst Writer in the World


Down the Throat of the Mountain, one of my novels, is coming online soon...Sorry, I almost threw up, thinking about it. Why all the anxiety, you ask? Because people will make clever and cutting remarks about my writing, and I will be ashamed. My friends might decide (in a secret meeting, perhaps) that I am a self-deluded asshole. Because my writing is so bad, I could die alone and unloved.

But what if I am not the worst writer in the world? What if I'm not even in the running?

A little research shows that there's a lot of bad writing out there. There are even contests: The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, for example, awards the opening sentence for "the worst of all possible novels."

From 1995-98, the Philosophy and Literature Bad Writing Contest  judged scholarly books and articles. This honor was only bestowed upon the nation's leading academics. That is because it takes brains to write a sentence that leaves the reader feeling overwhelmed, confused, and a bit queasy, all at the same time.

The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award is kind of self-explanatory. Past winners include Norman Mailer and John Updike, proving, once again, that you have to be good to be bad. This is a relief, because I'm not half as good as they are. And thus by extension, I can't be half as bad, either.