Y.P.R.1. As the editors of Y.P.R. approach the age of 30, we increasingly find ourselves in fits of white-hot jealousy and berserk outrage when we learn of young success stories. Looking back on your (slightly) younger days, were you a bratty little twerp, or were you cool and confident? Basically: whatís it like to be a teenage literary rock star?
Ned VizziniI was never really a teenage literary rock star. I did write for New York Press and go to their parties when I was 15, but ďliterary rock starĒ? I donít think those words go togetherówriters donít get to be rock stars. We donít get recognized and we donít get many girls (although itís tough to be a writer and not have a girlfriend; we tend to attract them and they tend to be very smart and cool). I was always very focused on writing and getting published and staying in touch with my readers, so I didnít really have time to be a bratty little twerp. As for being cool and confident, Iíve never been that. Iíve been hyperactive and confident, maybeóguardedly confident. Timidly confident.
I ainít no rock star. Even the rock stars arenít rock stars anymore. Iím just a stressed-out little nothing trying to make my way in the world. I happen to have published two books and to not have a day jobóbut believe me, there are lots of perils in living that way. Iím kind of jealous of you guysóyouíve got a .org.
Mr. Vizzini is the author of Be More Chill and the host of Feed the Young Writers, tonight (September 28th, 2004) at P.S. 122 in New York City.