The last two things I posted on this thing were pretty low-effort. I ought to have tried harder.
I always inevitably fall back into not posting much on this thing. It was supposed to be a site to promote my own works, but life gets in the way, sometimes you go long stretches with no bookings, and sometimes it’s a long time before you get more writing published. And I got pretty one-note myopic about the political issues, the anticapitalist anger. Not that I was wrong, but you need to have some levity somewhere in your life anyway. Or at least channel your rage into really doing stuff off the internet. You get too one-note myopic and that’s probably a way to get cancer faster. The body and the mind are connected. Shit can happen.
I’ve always thought it vain to post a bunch of stuff like the world’s waiting with bated breath. Seems tacky. But then again it’s just the human impulse. Otherwise, we never would have let social media happen. We all tell ourselves stories and like sharing. Communal-like.
I am working on the edits for my book CAREER MAN. I think a lot of this I was trying to make into one of those old early 1900s books where there’s a lot of just talking. Conversations. That can be rich. Hemingway style – I wrote it in Key West originally and the story’s about Key West too. And the Cormac McCarthy books that just came out do this better than maybe anyone I’ve ever read.
It’s pretty hard to do though. With this much dialogue, there’s a bigger chance more of it will sound fake or whatever. It’s tough to nail how people talk. Lots of fragments. Not really saying what they mean sometimes. That’s the challenge of it. But I like that challenge – it ought to be a bit difficult, making things. It’s good to put yourself in a predicament and see how you can dig yourself out of it. That can result in some pretty brilliant things.
Reading some of the edits for this, then comparing it to the McCarthy books or the James Baldwin one I just started – it’s funny how they’ll flag stuff in my book that other publishers thought was OK for some of these other authors.
It’s just how it goes. Different standards. Big wide world out there.
It’s a whole other world to be working this seriously on something fictional. You spend enough years toiling away on the stuff in your free time, and you don’t really ever expect it on some level. But then it does happen and you can see the whole circuitry and mechanics of the writing through an editor’s eyes. It puts you in a larger context outside of your own head. Lets you see how it will be seen by others. That’s valuable.
I’m also doing a bunch of other projects like always. I can never quit. There’s always an idea somewhere or some old thing to edit and make better. If anything, I spend too much time on editing these things and starting new stuff. But you have to take that time. I’d rather not put anything half-assed out. If I can get any of the stuff I’ve been tinkering with published it’ll be great. That’s all I can hope for from doing all this. To have it available somewhere.
And all this art we do doesn’t just live in a bubble. I like rewatching movies I’ve seen and rereading books from time to time. Seeing what new things come of it. What new inspiration. Music’s huge for me. Most people will talk about writing playlists or specific types of music to write with. Never been an issue for me. It’s part of a big continuum. Creation and artistic expression. It’s all connected and it fuels me to keep on watching, reading, listening, etc. I think everyone should do that to whatever extent they want to.
I’ve been set back from comedy for a little while, but I’m always out there somewhere doing a set. I’ve come to realize you don’t have to race to have the most clout. Just enjoy doing it. It is what you make of it, comedy and writing and all of it. I think there’s just large chunks of it that you can only learn by doing. How-to books and classes can’t hit all of that. I am the anti-teacher. Writing or getting on stage. You learn by the doing. Put the time in and try it. Do the work. Whatever a class might tell you, you have to be doing stuff on your own time to advance, too. That’s the only lesson I would have for anybody. I wouldn’t make very much money running my own class.
I think that’s a solid place to stop. I’m starting two jobs this week. It’s amazing how that can go. Nothing at all and then all of it at once. I’m doing newspaper reporting as well as writing features for the movie site Collider. It feels like a chance to really start over after all this pandemic stuff, and many things that happened in my life since then. The past three years have been like some kind of warped mirror universe. It is starting to feel a bit like it used to again. These things don’t mean very much to most people besides oneself. But it’s interesting, the way things change and change, on and on.