Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for/I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more.

Hi Rusty,

How exactly did you decide to do what you are currently doing?  This made me cry on the internet today, so I convinced myself it wasn’t about me because well, I am not an ass who says ass things to my friends, I don’t personally know Doree Shafrir, I am going to have a very different miserable life from my not corporate lawyer parents, and I actually was a professional writer but couldn’t/didn’t/wouldn’t hack it.* (Remember that?) I mean, I have the constant and quiet support of The Best Agent Ever, who believes I’l get back to it and urges me to do so, so maybe I am still trying to hack it, make it in at 9 under 90, in between hitting babies and bouncing balls, or whatever.** But fun-made-of lawyers who wish they were writers or writers who become lawyers still grazes my temple, y’know?

Here’s a fact about me that maybe you didn’t know, but most people who do know it take it as evidence of my insanity, where I think it’s one of the most adaptive, sanest things about me: I won’t read fiction or narrative non-fiction written after World War I.  I will read all manner of terrible contemporary  science writing, and even more terrible 18th century Gothic novels, so it’s not even defensible as some weird conservative belief about the death of art. That’s just the point at which I reliably don’t feel like someone else’s success/creativity isn’t chastising me for my lack thereof. Yes, of course the really sane thing would be to not be a person who spirals downward for weeks after skimming Murakami, but in the mind/brain/behavior feedback loop, I’ve found behavior is the place to intervene here.

I guess, like in my last post, I’m thinking along the lines between the personal and professional, creative and corporate (those terms serve nothing but alliterative purposes, I think), art (bad), craft (good), and stupid stupid wastefulness. Even though I like my work (so far) now better than I did my work then, and actually probably find it more “creatively” fulfilling, there’s a part of my own mind I enter when I’m Writing writing that doesn’t even exist until that moment oh my god I am like pulling a Nicole Krauss blurb on myself.

I don’t know. Was this stuff ever a conflict for you? I guess you never had any aspirations to write novels about contemporary warlock culture, so maybe not.


*I mean, I also cried at Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves last night (HE WOULD DIE FOR HER), so I feel like maybe there’s something else going on.

**(see, Alistair Cooke wrote: “In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway, and so it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were presumably designed in the first place. . . I mean the opportunity to do good work, to fall in love, to enjoy friends, to sit under a tree, to hit a ball and bounce a baby,” and I got him and Alistair Crowley confused and cracked myself up for days and days.)

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