Life finds a way to push us where it wants. Some say we even have free will. While that may be true to an extent, we ain’t in control, that’s for sure. Here’s an example: You get a new job. Your dream job, in fact. You are clicking along, clocking in early, producing above and beyond what you should and then eight days later, BAM, you are let go.
What happened in that scenario?
The person did everything right. He kept to himself and went with the flow. But guess what? We can still lose even if we did everything right. Or did we lose? Maybe that’s not where we belong, so life puts us where we need to be.
The above story happened to me. I’m the guy in the example. But instead of it happening once, it has happened numerous times. More times than I care to admit. Maybe it’s where I live, the geographic locale, the political climate, the herd mentality. I don’t know. But what I do know is when I start to get the tingles, the Deja Vu, I know I’m on the right track in life. And that feeling seems to happen right when I am about to have a major shift in my life. It happened earlier this month and I have a feeling it won’t be the last time. What’s this all mean, you’re saying? Well, I am back to writing. I can’t get away from it and boy did I try.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love writing. I have a burning desire to write. I have written for money. I have written for free. The process of it all, the highs and the lows are welcome. Rejection letters are nothing but a badge of honor, a war medal, a sign I have been in the trenches with the grunts and survived. One time, my friend Trent Zelazny showed me a picture of all his rejection letters (before email!) and I shit you not, it filled up the entire floor. It was inspiring. I caught fire that day when I saw my friends failures laid bare for all to see. What a treasure. A writers life and I wanted it. But there is something you have to understand about me; I like to try everything once. And while I have done a lot in my short thirty-six years on this earth (37 in September, yikes!), I have always had trouble sticking to one thing. I have always wanted to be the dedicated type. I am envious of those that stick to something for the entirety of their lives. I’m not there yet, but it’s too late to turn back now… I am in this writing thing for the long haul. I know I am not alone in this, so maybe you’ll understand. I have been a musician, a composer, bandleader, released an album, played on albums, I’ve been published and even published work on my own. I have also, at various points in my life, been a tattoo artist, a caretaker, a warehouse worker, a computer repairman, an IT guy, a librarian, a music teacher and an English tutor. I was even a president of and started a chess club and many other accomplishments and occupations. In retrospect, I have been fortunate enough to do these things and I am grateful. But the few things that have stuck with me and never seem to let me go are writing and music.
So I get it. You can stop hinting at me, Life. I am now back to it. Back to writing. Back in the trenches. Back to hell. When Tom Piccirilli (Miss you, man!) wrote his how-to writing book aptly titled Welcome To Hell: A Working Guide For The Beginning Writer, he wasn’t lying. Writing can destroy you if you let it. But like a hot girlfriend who is crazy, I just can’t let her go (you get what I’m trying to say!). You learn to love it, learn to live with it and eventually it becomes all you ever wanted to do or be. Because if you don’t write, you die.
You get my drift.
To quote the poet Anne Sexton: “Writing is fucking hard!”
To quote Charles Bukowski: “Find what you love and let it kill you.”
Both quotes are relevant and real. Take them for what you will. I know I did.
To sum up this ranty post, I have several novels that need to be finished up and sent out. I have even more short stories that need to find some markets. I have Killercon (click the link!) in Austin coming up in a month, where I will finally fulfill a six-year promise to someone.
Hope they still want the novel.
Guess we will see.
And If all goes well there, you will be the first to hear about it. Now back to the pages because this shit isn’t gonna write itself.
See you later, Aligator.