Posted by: Mark Nielsen | September 28, 2007

Attention: A Very Good Writer To Check Out

I read a great book this week. It’s called Attention. Deficit. Disorder. It’s by an up-and-comer named Brad Listi, who lives out in L.A., I think. He also does a pretty terrific socio-political blog of the same name on MySpace.

It’s a book about grief. It’s a comic coming of age novel, especially (but not only) from the perspective of a young, white, middle-class Generation X (bordering on Gen Y)searcher, with a heart of gold and a whole lot of confusing choices to make. It’s a road-trip book (the Burning Man Festival figures prominently), though the journey is more spiritual than physical. Thus I’m tempted to compare it to Kerouac’s On the Road, but I’m just not sure that would help people get it, or drive them away.

And while I can’t fully endorse everything Brad says in the book– or in this interview at litpark— still, as a human, I was deeply moved. And as a writer I definitely enjoyed the following (from the interview):

In my experience, it’s the doing of the thing that always brings me the most joy, anyway. The greatest happiness I feel as a writer is not when I’m signing a publishing contract or looking at my book on the shelf or giving a reading at a bookstore. Those things are great, sure, but the most fun I ever have is when I’m locked in my bedroom office, hunched over my keyboard with the headphones on, trying to put the words in the right order. At times, the work can be incredibly frustrating. But even when it’s at its worst, I’m always careful to remind myself how much fun it ultimately is. It’s kids’ stuff, really. It’s storytelling. It’s imagination hour. So enjoy the doing. Make it fun. Make it big. Make it weird. Make it big and fun and weird. Why not?


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