Alright, a disclaimer first; I’m not in my right mind. Feeling sorry for artists unencumbered by a big media blitz, I hammered away at the words below. To be fair my tears are mostly for myself, for which I now feel ashamed. But then I remembered my pocket therapist, the book: ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lammot. Writing (and maybe life) is like being on a little boat in the ocean. Sometimes you’re on the crest of a wave that gives you a view of your destination or the coast, something to calm you about your journey. Other times you’re in the trough and the waves crowd around you, tower over you. They make you feel tiny, weak, alone. I’m keeping the words below for two reasons. First, I want others who see foaming waves all around to know you’re not alone and the troughs and crests will come and go throughout life. Secondly, it felt really good to let that poison trickle down from my brain to the page. I’m shaking it off now and getting back to writing.
How many artists can the collective consciousness endure? Millions, Billions even. But how many can the media juggernauts harness to their advantage and how many more cry out with their individual voices for a chance to be heard only to be drowned out by the golden trumpets of the latest big name. So many artists reaching out as far as we can, and only touching a scant few. The information age has brought publishing and publicizing to a level reachable by so many but without a throng of agents at our disposal our advances become easy casualties in a war of attrition.
How do I reach readers? If I could give my first book to everyone on Earth for free I would; convinced of the soundness of its construction, eager to touch the hearts of others with the message that lit my mind afire. Many tell me, a book given away will be counted as worth the price paid and discard it as rubbish. Likely true. How many emails do we all see, full of promises we know can’t be kept. ‘Too good to be true’ conventional wisdom says.
The court of public opinion might hold my work aloft, if only I might entreat that immense body to turn its attention to my desires for a day or two. If those first few pages do not fill you with anticipation to continue then by all means don’t; but turn a handful before you cast me aside unnoticed and untried.
I look at this burgeoning post and despise myself. Selfish pride in my art and in my pain; these convict me quickly and deep. I’ve already been given more than I deserve in life and yet I pine for more. I want to mimic my influences, to touch the heart of another with my words, with my stories; these yearnings speak to me every time my fingers touch the keys. Fame is a fickle flame and wealth a gilded curse if the heart and mind behind it holds nothing more sacred than itself. I’m ranting now, searching for greater wisdom to calm my whimpering drivel.