instead, I'll focus on the good things.
a little over a month ago, I met someone whose existence made and continues to make my life significantly better, and I'm fairly sure it's mutual. she is strong and whimsical and grounded and brave and honest, and her bravery and honesty inspire mine. so that's pretty amazing. it's been three years since my last partner and five since my last relationship, so I'm not sure if all the overwhelmingly awesome, glorious, and terrifying feelings are ones I've never experienced or just ones I've forgotten about. I think that might be irrelevant, though.
I spent last week in LA hanging out with several dozen of my closest internet friends, which we've done in various places every year for the past six years. many incredible foodstuffs were eaten and brilliant card games were played, many drinks were drunk and substances ingested, many songs sung and danced to. I made new friends and strengthened my relationships with old friends. it was far too good and it ended too soon. Marina del Rey, once a year, every year, until we're all dead: so mote it be.
one of the best things about last week was hearing people say in person, unsolicitedly, that they like what I'm doing here. it was incredibly heartening. Shing (of marlowethemonster.com and sawdustbear.com! someone who actually does things! and people write about her! zomg!) complimented and encouraged me, and a few nights later Nomi tried to send me back to my hotel room to write. she was unsuccessful, but I appreciate her enthusiasm. and so here I am, ass firmly planted in chair, writing again. thank you both. and everyone else.
I can't believe how lucky I am: healthy, employed, loved, in love, and surrounded by the best humans.
but my good fortune does bring the things in my life that I'm not pleased with into stark relief, and makes me want to redouble my focus on fixing or eliminating them, on doing the things I want to do and hustling so I am doing them rather than the things I don't want to do. I have this coworker who, much like myself, fell into IT by accident and found himself with a career, who really wants to be a writer but has a family to contribute to and doesn't feel he can make a living off of writing, so he doesn't write at all. "Maybe when my son is older," he says. I'm doing what I can to encourage him -- I even read his Babylon 5/Stargate SG-1 fanfic, it was not the worst thing ever! -- but more importantly, I don't want to be in his position. I've already blown, depending on your reckoning, ten, seventeen, or thirty-four years on avoiding becoming a writer and performer. I don't want to look up from my terminal in ten years and wonder how all that time turned into excuses.
I have read my Burroughs. the addict will always find excuses to indulge in his addiction.
so while I still need to develop my conventional career, because writers must eat, I know that I need to keep developing my non-conventional one, as well. the joy of trying to life a non-conventional life is that there are few guidelines to doing so, which is also the primary difficulty. and it just seems to keep getting more difficult. there are lots of reasons to be discouraged from becoming a writer. it ruins lives and breaks hearts. if you want companionship, recognition, and groupies, start a band, because outside of accountability buddies and occasional collaborations, writing is an entirely solitary activity. it takes primacy over all other things, at least to develop the skill and be successful at it. and that is the part that scares me, because guys, guys, guys guys guys, I am in LOVE, I'm in LOVE and I want to be a WRITER, and I want to spend all my spare time with this person and I need to spend all my spare time spilling words onto this screen. I don't know how it is for other writers, but I am intrinsically polyamorous, because I always have at least one love: the word, the word, always the word. language is my lover and my hammer and my scalpel and my gun. I'm in love with a woman and I'm in love with the word and to a certain degree I guess I'm in love with the world, though she does disappoint me at times.
and then let's not forget the other part of this fantasy career that destroys lesser beings: comedy. the struggle to develop your craft, to reach the top of your game and stay there, the stress of touring and performing, the solitude, the failures and betrayals and disappointments. the difficulty of sustaining relationships. any relationships with anyone. there are reasons great comedians either get boring, die young, or quit.
but, you know, before all that, you have to get some fucking material together and get up there and bomb and try again. you have to write some pieces and submit them and get rejected and try again. sure, you have to fail in order to succeed, and failure isn't a guarantee of success, but you also have to take action in order to fail or succeed in the first place. worrying about the effects of a career and of success or failure is entirely pointless before you've even reached the starting gate, much less crossed it. but that's me: always with the difficulty living in the moment.
1 July 2012
This entry was originally posted at http://mark-argent.dreamwidth.org/73651