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Showing posts from September, 2014

Fearlessly Honest

There is a pretty common myth out there about being creative and being messed up, in that it seems that we create better art if we are wrecked.  

In a way, the myth isn't a myth at all.  We do seem to create good stuff when we are messed up, when we are flayed open and ruined, when the world is a weight and there's nothing to do but crawl into a bottle, to hide behind chemical curtains until things don't hurt anymore. 

We do create good stuff when were messed up.  You can see it in the wreckage that Hollywood serves up, sacrificed for our entertainment, in the suicides and broken homes and arrests of creators.  Brilliant art made by complete and utter ruin, human beings tortured by talent and psychological disaster. 

But it's not about being smashed; it is about honesty.

The greatest, most heart-wrenching things we read and hear and watch come from someone who is just messed up enough to be honest, who is brave enough to just lay it out there for the whole world to see…

Fearlessly Honest

There is a pretty common myth out there about being creative and being messed up, in that it seems that we create better art if we are wrecked.  

In a way, the myth isn't a myth at all.  We do seem to create good stuff when we are messed up, when we are flayed open and ruined, when the world is a weight and there's nothing to do but crawl into a bottle, to hide behind chemical curtains until things don't hurt anymore. 

We do create good stuff when were messed up.  You can see it in the wreckage that Hollywood serves up, sacrificed for our entertainment, in the suicides and broken homes and arrests of creators.  Brilliant art made by complete and utter ruin, human beings tortured by talent and psychological disaster. 

But it's not about being smashed; it is about honesty.

The greatest, most heart-wrenching things we read and hear and watch come from someone who is just messed up enough to be honest, who is brave enough to just lay it out there for the whole world to…

Planting Ideas...

So the characters in my book get up to some pretty harmful shit, self harm and vandalism and worse.  The other night, I had a chilling thought: what if I give someone ideas

What if there's a kid out there that just needs the seed, the impulse, the implicit permission and then takes the ideas from the page and applies them to the real world?

There's evidence for this idea already.  About ten years ago I was invited to a fight club.  A real one.  Literally a group of dudes that met up in a basement, put on some thrash metal and just straight up fought each other.  I didn't go, don't honestly know if the guy that invited me was serious. Truthfully the guy could have been just winding me up, or trying to lure me into something unspeakable in his basement.  He seemed sincere, though, like it wasn't something crazy he and his friends were getting up to, like it was simply a good way to pass a Saturday evening.  When he wrote Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk touched on an idea…

Planting Ideas...

So the characters in my book get up to some pretty harmful shit, self harm and vandalism and worse.  The other night, I had a chilling thought: what if I give someone ideas

What if there's a kid out there that just needs the seed, the impulse, the implicit permission and then takes the ideas from the page and applies them to the real world?

There's evidence for this idea already.  About ten years ago I was invited to a fight club.  A real one.  Literally a group of dudes that met up in a basement, put on some thrash metal and just straight up fought each other.  I didn't go, don't honestly know if the guy that invited me was serious. Truthfully the guy could have been just winding me up, or trying to lure me into something unspeakable in his basement.  He seemed sincere, though, like it wasn't something crazy he and his friends were getting up to, like it was simply a good way to pass a Saturday evening.  When he wrote Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk touched on an id…

Knock, Knock

I used to feel directionless.

For most of my life I have felt like this, that there was something out there, some bigger destiny, some way for me to prove my worth to the world.  I would take stock of my god-given talents and look at other, more successful people in the fields that I am interested in, and ask myself, why not me?

I genuinely had never understood why not me until recently.  Until I had the Realization.  I capitalize Realization on purpose, because it was a singular thought that arrived in my head and though it is terribly obvious to everyone, everywhere, it has been revolutionary for me, a transformative notion.

The answer to why not me is simple:

Not me because I had never finished anything for people to grab on to.  I was not a successful novelist because I had never written a novel.  I wasn't even a failure; I was an absence.  The reason those other people were more successful had nothing to do with talent or opportunity or networking or serendipity.  First and fore…

Knock, Knock

I used to feel directionless.

For most of my life I have felt like this, that there was something out there, some bigger destiny, some way for me to prove my worth to the world.  I would take stock of my god-given talents and look at other, more successful people in the fields that I am interested in, and ask myself, why not me?

I genuinely had never understood why not me until recently.  Until I had the Realization.  I capitalize Realization on purpose, because it was a singular thought that arrived in my head and though it is terribly obvious to everyone, everywhere, it has been revolutionary for me, a transformative notion.

The answer to why not me is simple:

Not me because I had never finished anything for people to grab on to.  I was not a successful novelist because I had never written a novel.  I wasn't even a failure; I was an absence.  The reason those other people were more successful had nothing to do with talent or opportunity or networking or serendipity.  First and …

It ain't over yet.

I'm not done.

This is what I have been fighting:  the feeling that I'm done.  I mean, I wrote the damn thing, I edited it, I gave it to readers for feedback, I changed, re-wrote, and polished it, I let it sit for a couple of weeks and then re-read and re-edited it. 

I'm done right?  This is the part where I can relax and start something new, right?

Actually not really.  I've got to send query letters to agents.  If I want to get a fair shot at finding a agent that will represent me, I have to research a little, have to go to the website, find what they are looking for, make sure they are even accepting queries, make sure they don't specialize in anything my book isn't.  Hopefully I find someone that says in their bio something I like, or something that leads me to believe that they might take a chance on an unproven and unknown writer that has just sent an email query.    

And the worst is, I have to wait (unless I get rejected in record time).  I have to send out…

It ain't over yet.

I'm not done.

This is what I have been fighting:  the feeling that I'm done.  I mean, I wrote the damn thing, I edited it, I gave it to readers for feedback, I changed, re-wrote, and polished it, I let it sit for a couple of weeks and then re-read and re-edited it. 

I'm done right?  This is the part where I can relax and start something new, right?

Actually not really.  I've got to send query letters to agents.  If I want to get a fair shot at finding a agent that will represent me, I have to research a little, have to go to the website, find what they are looking for, make sure they are even accepting queries, make sure they don't specialize in anything my book isn't.  Hopefully I find someone that says in their bio something I like, or something that leads me to believe that they might take a chance on an unproven and unknown writer that has just sent an email query.    

And the worst is, I have to wait (unless I get rejected in record time).  I have to send…

Rejected!

I got rejected in eight hours.

The first agency I sent a query to preferred electronic communication.  I sent off a query letter with a sample of the manuscript as per spec, and by the morning already knew that they did not want to represent the book. 

I have mixed feelings about this.

First, I know its not personal.  Getting a form letter from a robot first thing in the morning, however encouragingly it may have been written, is decidedly impersonal.  They didn't say that they didn't like me.  They didn't even say that they didn't like my book; they just said that it didn't match their needs and good luck finding representation.  It's not personal. 

But dammit, it feels personal.  If feels like they're saying that they don't like me, that my book isn't good enough for them, it feels like I should just walk away and never write another word.  And as much as I was expecting it, as much as I knew that I wasn't going to find an amazing and dynamic agen…

Rejected!

I got rejected in eight hours.

The first agency I sent a query to preferred electronic communication.  I sent off a query letter with a sample of the manuscript as per spec, and by the morning already knew that they did not want to represent the book. 

I have mixed feelings about this.

First, I know its not personal.  Getting a form letter from a robot first thing in the morning, however encouragingly it may have been written, is decidedly impersonal.  They didn't say that they didn't like me.  They didn't even say that they didn't like my book; they just said that it didn't match their needs and good luck finding representation.  It's not personal. 

But dammit, it feels personal.  If feels like they're saying that they don't like me, that my book isn't good enough for them, it feels like I should just walk away and never write another word.  And as much as I was expecting it, as much as I knew that I wasn't going to find an amazing and dynamic …

Antiartists: The Beginning

Like a lot of people I have always wanted to write a book.

Unlike most people I actually went and did it.

What I want this to be is a chronicle of what happens afterward, when you have a manuscript and you want to see the thing in print.  And that is what I want.  My goal is to be able to walk in to a bookstore and buy my book, which means traditional publishers.  Which means agents.  Which means rejections.  Which blows.

Because even though I work a professional 9-5 and am a suburban father and husband, even though I drive a ten year old Honda,  I remain a punk somewhere in my heart, and the whole 'hat in hand, please Mr Traditional, would you be kind enough to consider considering to consider my heart and soul for your soulless corporate greed' still stings quite a bit.  If I was going to make music, I would DIY like a punk; I'd press my own vinyl, I'd tour, I'd hit up other like-minded guys and work the grass roots, because even now I still believe that it's no…

Antiartists: The Beginning

Like a lot of people I have always wanted to write a book.

Unlike most people I actually went and did it.

What I want this to be is a chronicle of what happens afterward, when you have a manuscript and you want to see the thing in print.  And that is what I want.  My goal is to be able to walk in to a bookstore and buy my book, which means traditional publishers.  Which means agents.  Which means rejections.  Which blows.

Because even though I work a professional 9-5 and am a suburban father and husband, even though I drive a ten year old Honda,  I remain a punk somewhere in my heart, and the whole 'hat in hand, please Mr Traditional, would you be kind enough to consider considering to consider my heart and soul for your soulless corporate greed' still stings quite a bit.  If I was going to make music, I would DIY like a punk; I'd press my own vinyl, I'd tour, I'd hit up other like-minded guys and work the grass roots, because even now I still believe that it's…