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Sunday, July 30, 2017

TL;DR! And It Doesn't Even Come With a Fractal or Photo I Can Ignore Too!

I don't write for money. Making money as a writer is very difficult to do. Earning even a modest living as a writer is almost impossible.

I don't write for popularity. This isn't high school, though it must be admitted that most people never mature mentally or spiritually beyond high school, if even middle school. I wasn't popular in high school, and I'm not popular now. It didn't mean anything to me then, and it doesn't now.

I don't write to please you. I don't wake up in the morning and think, "What will people want today?" or "I should make this character more palatable to readers," or "I hope the philosophy underpinning this story doesn't offend folks!"

I don't write to impress other writers. I have my writing (as opposed to authorial) heroes, to be sure. But even in the astonishingly unlikely event that one of them read something of mine, I wouldn't ultimately care if they liked it or not. I'd be very pleased if they did, of course; but if they didn't, it wouldn't affect me too much. I wouldn't change my style or my voice to address their criticisms, if any. Nor would I with any praise.

I am extraordinarily lucky to be able to do what I do every day. This world is purposely structured to make it virtually impossible for artists to live on their work. The "starving artist" is so because society wants him to be so, and has set up the rules in order to make it so. The tiny, tiny percentage of those who can live on their work, or who have become famous because of it, is also a consequence of that structuring, which selects those artists not through merit or talent, but by cash, connections, and simple, brutal luck. The more honest among them admit it. Those are the ones who tend to get my attention.

Kye supports me in my endeavors. We live in this little rig, and we work, and we do what we can to get by. But she makes the money. It isn't, however, as though I haven't looked for paid work, especially recently. Doing something to help out financially, if even part-time, would not necessarily dent my creative mission, and so I have put out feelers here and there, especially the past few months. But I'm over fifty years of age, and so the chances that I find paid employment are about as good as being able to make a living writing. That's the society I live in. And if you're a suburban, going about your life unthinkingly, blindly, stupidly, acceptingly, you are as responsible for that injustice as its actual architects.

I wrote recently that this little blog is my digital home. It is. I don't have a Facebook account. I don't "do" Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr or Google Plus or any of them. You can find me on LinkedIn, but I don't consider that social media. I post my fan fiction on Archive of Our Own, but that, again, isn't social media. I have a Goodreads account, but I do so only because I publish through Amazon, which owns Goodreads, and their author pages are helpful in getting me some exposure, however minuscule. This little blog is it. Almost literally.

If you have found this blog, it's almost certainly because you stumbled upon it by sheer chance. If so, your presence here is organic. I have done almost no advertising. By "almost" I mean this: I have submitted its URL to various blog aggregators like Blogarama, but nothing else. Most of those aggregators are totally worthless. Blogarama seems to be the only one worth a damn. Even so, in terms of "getting the word out there," I have done almost nothing. I don't see the point.

If you like my work, including this blog, then that is enough. The world is a big, big place, and I can't possibly compete with those who are far better financed and connected, who have a far greater reach off the bat, who bend over backwards to kiss ass and people-please. All those rags-to-riches stories of popular YouTubers and bloggers and Instagrammers? Ninety-nine percent are utter horseshit. It all depends on how you define "rags," doesn't it? I am living, financially, in rags. I am virtually penniless. I depend on another for food, shelter, and raiment. Those fucks? If they were even a hundredth as skint as I, they'd have freaked the fuck way out and given up by this point. But they weren't. And they had connections going in; they had the means to pump themselves and their work way up.

Don't believe their "pulled myself up by my own bootstraps" bullshit.

As I mentioned earlier, it's all about luck, and those at the top are those few who managed to win the lottery, so to speak. That said--and as I also implied--a nice bankroll and connections going in don't hurt.

"A far greater reach off the bat." Most of us have to cobble together twigs and make our own glue to even create a bat, one that's going to shatter in a million pieces once we take a swing at the ball, provided we even get to bat, and provided we even get pitched to. Again, don't believe the rags-to-riches bullshit. With a handful of exceptions out of billions of cases, it's all a lie.

Waking up to that reality has been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I couldn't have done it without Kye, my partner and supporter. She finally got me to see the light.

Everything you see or read of mine has been done for the sheer love of it. Everything. The example of the last fourteen years of my life is absolute proof of that statement.

Most of you won't be impressed. But you should be. Because I am certain that you haven't devoted anything near that level of love and energy to anything truly creative in your life for even a tenth that long. But since that kind of devotion isn't lauded in our culture, you have been brainwashed to discount or ignore it completely. It's therefore worthless to you, incidental, superfluous. Because that's how it is to your herd, which makes most if not all of the decisions for you, and which defines top-to-bottom your worldview.

In just a little over two weeks I'll be exactly as old as my mother was when she died. When she passed her daughters, hateful individuals that they were (and are still, sadly), took all her creative work, some of it truly astonishing, and threw it in the dumpster out front or burned it. They did so without a single thought or regret. I remember. I watched them do it.

Such is the operating mindset of the vast majority of humanity.

Few of you who visit this blog, if any of you, will have reached this point in this essay. "TL;DR!" you'll have sighed to yourself two paragraphs in. "Oh, God, he's on another rant! Why won't he stop already!"

And so, Your Honor, I rest my case. Mom did all the things she did--macrame, knitting, needlepoint, genealogy, antique collecting, raising plants, making her home bright and sunny and welcoming--for you. William Blake did the same thing. All he created was for his Heavenly audience. He died a pauper considered utterly insane by his peers. So did Vincent Van Gogh. So did Baruch Spinoza. So did countless others.

If my fate is to end up on that list, no matter how insignificant I am, or shall remain, so be it. I'll be in very mighty company indeed.


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