Depression in Book Form

Repost from old blog, 9/29/2007A few years ago, during one of my frequent identity crises as a writer, I somehow got the idea that I would be good at writing greeting cards. So I decided to purchase a book about freelance writing for greeting card companies. That book was called…Freelance Writing for Greeting Card Companies, by Patrisha Stauss. The crisis must have passed in the time it took Amazon to ship the book; just tonight I perused it for the first time.

It’s got to be one of the most depressing things ever put to print. I mean, look at that fucking cover.

The sentences are as bland and safe as grandma’s plastic-covered couch. They read…well, sort of like a greeting card.

Writing is a good form of self-expression, Stauss unequivocally states in the introduction. What better place to have your writing appear than in greeting cards?


With this genre, you are expressing your own thoughts at the same time you are helping others express how they feel. This is possible because many find it difficult to say what they feel, and they will buy a greeting card to speak for them. Who knew a greeting card industry manual could read like a treatise on the soul-crushing alienation of modern life?

In the author bio it says that Stauss spent eight years teaching children and adults with a variety of learning disabilities. Through her books, she hopes to decrease the level of frustration felt by many.

In some small way, I think that’s what all writers are shooting for.