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In Which I Allow Myself a Moment of Whining and Self-Pity Before Getting Back to Work

I have been in a loop, a snake eating its own tail.  I've got work to do, words to write, people to help. I've got pending requests and approaching deadlines, and all I can do is sit here and watch internet videos of people falling down, or getting bit by geese.

This is not block, which I am convinced is not real, but is a word used by someone who doesn't understand their own story.  I've got stories that I understand.  They are there, all queued up, I've got ten days to complete a tricky bit of storytelling, a strange parallel world and it is important, and not just to me.  And yet, I'm crushing candy, I'm watching stupid TV.

I need some rest.

I need to stop resting.

I am filled with this deep and pervasive apathy, a sense of futility, and the problem is, I feel pretty okay emotionally; I am just having a hard time seeing the point of trying so hard.  Maybe I need to be less ambitions, maybe I need to just give in, and dedicate myself to the pay job, become the best review analyst that I can be.

And even now I am writing just because I need to, I need to be writing.  Having written something does not make you a writer, only writing something makes you a writer, and if I m not a writer, then what the hell am I?

A father, a husband, and on and on

Fair enough.

It is world poetry day today and this is your reminder that poems suck.  Nobody likes poems and poets are insufferable bores.  Insufferable bore is a cliche, and I am a hack.

This is garbage, I know it even as I write it, but the thing is not to be good, but to write.  I don't write well, I don't need this to be anything other than what it is, training wheels, stretching and goddamn if it doesn't feel great.

It doesn't.

I am hiding, of course, again from failure and rejection.  I have been waiting for a long time and got a zero response which is the worst kind of response, and that hope had died, and I've got to start fresh, again, and I'm left wondering if it is worth it.  The thing is this: writing is easy.  Writing a book is easy; all you have to do is write a bunch of stuff, all the time, and don't stop until it is done.  Simple.  Editing is more difficult, just because the thrill of creation is gone.  It seems like work, but still you get to take your ideas and give them a bit of polish, make them dance and shine, and even that seems a little worth it, because it is work, sure, but is still creative, still challenging.  This phrasing doesn't work, how can you make it work, this wording is vague, what does it need to make it better?  I don't buy this character's motivation do do the things that he is doing, you have to figure a way to get that to make sense.

And then there's the rest of it, which is not only stupid garbage work, but it is paperwork, busy work, it is waiting, it is feeling like you are begging for acceptance, and cringing against the inevitable rejection.

It blows.  So write, sure but don't take it seriously, don't try to make a career out of it, please, if you have any sense of self respect, let your friends and family read it and tell you that it is good but never ever try to publish, it is a never ending carousel of groin kicks and disappointment.

Don't listen to me.  Do whatever you want.

I am writing this and I know it might never see the light, I may never post it.  I will not let any one read it, but I am writing, and that's what is important, I am shaking off the dust, I am fighting the good fight.

I am hopeless and defeated, I am filled with despair, and I am exhausted and tired of all this shit.  And still I know that I will keep on trying, keep on trudging down this stupid bleak endless road.  And I feel a kind of defeatist pride there too, yeah, you can kick me, you can knock me down, and I will get back up to get knocked down again, and eventually I will get knocked down and I will stay down, I will lack the strength to carry on, but that day is not today, that time is not this time.

This doesn't matter, none of this matters.  You will misunderstand me again, and it is not your fault, it is mine, because I can not seem to describe how I feel, because I am full of contradictions, and oxymorons; I am optimistically depressed, I am hopeful and defeated.  I am going to carry on, not because of any nobility or strength on my part, but because I am an idiot that doesn't have any better prospects. It is terrible and stupid and discouraging, but this is all I've got; it is continue doing this or do nothing at all be nothing at all.  I am a damn fool, and a masochist.

Maybe the trouble is that I live a good life filled with joy and love, and I need something to complain about.  Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment.  This is another cliche, and I am still a hack.

Still Writing,


I wrote this yesterday when I should have been doing other things.  I was not going to post it, but then I though what the hell why not let 'er rip, see what happens.  I am pretty active on Twitter @RDPullins, and generally post fun jokes and re-tweet friends; come say hi! I also have a Facebook, but I hate Facebook, so I barely ever check in there.  You can still say hi there if you wanna.  I'll see it eventually.  Comment here, too.  If it is your first time, I think I need to approve your comment, but after that its fair game, so knock yourself out.  BTW, I am fine, and I am going to keep on keepin on, I promise.  Peace.


  1. In my professional opinion... it seems like it is the classic "is this all there really is syndrome.".. but I am a hairdresser.. so. ... Seriously Ralph I love that you look and you try to recognize.. and I promise you even if it doesn't seem like it you are moving .. changing ... growing ... and even if you can't ever put an actual name to it, the process still works... you are doing great and I am a huge fan!!!

  2. Well, at least you're in good company. Ever read any Charles Bukowski? Btw, the only poetry I've ever really liked...which says a lot about me, obviously...

  3. Keep on writing! No matter what, when or where. If nothing else matters, it is you and it is what makes you breathe and be.

  4. I will, I promise. Thank you for your kind words!

  5. Heh. I was doing a bit of light trolling about the poetry thing. My first ever published piece was a poem called "Hope for the Useless." I still occasionally write a poem, even though I don't really consider myself a poet. Check out Grand Central Review here for the most recent:

  6. Still keepin' the faith, still moving forward, still living and loving. Thank you for being my bestest friend, and biggest fan.

  7. Inspiration: find what triggers your imagination. I watch YouTube videos f my favorite authors like Pat Conroy, Rick Bragg, Amy Tan and others. Their stories as writers inspire me and remind me of what my "voice" is like when I wrote. Link to some enjoyable or simpatico creativity and indulge yourself in the diversion from naval gazing that just reinforces your STUCK place. Best wishes for finding that path less travelled.

  8. Yeah, its always music that does it for me. More than anything I just need to get to work. I've been waiting for a response for a long time and now that I have it, its time to start hustling again. Thanks for commenting by the way!

  9. Hi Ralph, Marion here.

    I get how you feel wholeheartedly on the drudgery of publishing. However, if, after all the rejection (which we all get, constantly), you're still writing, then that's what you do, and you'll always do it. If you stop doing it, you'll feel worse. I'm never entirely balanced if I'm not developing a story. Like Chris, looking at the mundane and managing to draw something extraordinary from it. It's an addiction in its own right. At least it's one you can feed.

    Running subs is just something to do on the side. Like waxing, it hurts the first few times, then you just develop a sensory detachment. Writing is important, creating is important, editing is - well, the finishing touch. But submissions - meh.

    Even when you do get published, the thrill eventually wears off, but by that time you should be miles down the road, chasing your next story. It's something you see in the rearview mirror and smile.

    I think it's probably pointless to tell you 'keep writing,' because you can't not. So, just fix upon whatever it is you enjoy about the process and detach from the rest.

    For what it's worth, I thought Antiartist was bloody marvellous.

  10. Bloody marvellous! Thank you so much. Since I loved Rosy Hours so much, your opinion means a lot to me. That's funny about the getting a book published thing; I thought I would feel more pride or something, but I have found that it is something that I don't really want to talk about too much. I have found that I can't not, as you said; and its either keep pounding the keys or feel like I'm wasting away.


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