Greetings, blog readers and friends.
Today, we depart from our usual, and embark on something that feels strange, and is definitely new.
I have spoken before about wanting to be authentic, raw, and truthful in my content making endeavors, in hopes of building a more authentic and truthful, and yes maybe even a bit raw, community.
But really, that comes from a place, and as I try to start so many things, that place rears its ugly little head…So I think in order to confront it, I need to talk about it.
Frankly, talking about it isn’t easy. It means admitting your own shortcomings, your own inabilities, your own…lacking. Or should I say, my own shortcomings, my own inabilities, and my own…personal lacking.
I have spent so much of my life trying to stand out, to be unique, but always while playing it relatively safe. I could say some of that is my parenting, right, with my mother calling me a damn weirdo any time I showed any sort of uniqueness, or the fact that every time I tried to do something unique and out of my imagination people ridicule me into being silent, just to steal my ideas four months later. It could also be that much of our society discourages creativity, or that I logically know that it may not be the most secure of lifestyles. I do value security. Regardless, only I am really to blame here.
I have been gullible, too, speaking of short comings. Thinking I can right the wrongs of the world when I can barely write the wrongs of the world…
For years I spent time studying, training, to fight for a better world just to land flat on my face in the reality that people really don’t give a great hairy goddamn about right and wrong. I have watched the world expose itself to me as not the beautiful blue marble full of magic and wonder, but as a kind of shitty place filled with really shitty fucking people.
I have tried to keep my head down, to avoid these people, and in doing so realized I only become more surrounded by these bad people.
They say a coward dies a hundred deaths, and each and every time I chose a cowards way out, I didn’t speak up, I didn’t assert myself, I folded…every single time was yet another death.
This morning I was mentally working out a scene for some characters, and I didn’t even know which characters it was for. I realized, after a fashion, that while this scene was so important to some characters, it was just as important, if not more so, to me.
Because the world we live in now IS different. The ways of the past simply don’t matter anymore. If you are an artistic person, or even someone wanting to make your minor living from the brilliant ideas in your mind, you are a content creator.
In the world we all live in, we all need to have more work from home type jobs, and sources of income, and for me, my goal for years has always been to be a writer, to let my universes of writing pay my bills. Since my universes of writing take up so much of my waking and yes, even sleeping, time, why not make that writing pay the bills too?
The natural path is to write everyday, put out content, make enough sales across merchandise and literature sales to pay the bills. Build a big enough audience, some willing to pay monthly subscriptions, others willing to buy shirts and books, some willing to read, to share, and to suggest to others…some glorious beings who do all of the above and then some. The path is always content, and, sadly, people don’t always read as much, so, content creators who like to focus on words, like myself, are left with the difficult task of trying to find new and creative ways to entice others to read, but to ALSO find ways to reach them.
Some people don’t read but that doesn’t mean they don’t like your stories. I have talked about audio files that would play the contents of my blogs as if they were maybe a podcast or some sort of radio show. I have contemplated just having plain audio files, no bells and whistles, to help. My goal is for some of my stories to find a visual medium home, for example I would love for Flake City to be a serialized show of some kind. Some content lends itself to different mediums, and some content works on all mediums.
But none of that can happen without certain amounts of work. For the past year I have trained myself, really worked hard, and I have put out quality content on my blog. I have grown as a writer, as an editor, as a person all around. I have grown as a content creator even, and while I don’t make the content like I should, I am at least aware of when I should do things and how I should do them. I spent time listening to experts, researching what I saw and what I liked, and truly educating myself with what was happening now. This on top of years of previous training, writing, education, and experience. I have doubled and tripled down in the past year or so, and started to really put the effort into the work to not only do it, but forcing myself to show it to others, by way of the blog.
If I am to bring these things to life, I have to put out content in every way, to get the audience I need. Flake City is all about a virus and a crazy quarantine…I HAVE to use this gift of time to make some great things happen for my characters and my universe.
Which means the time has come for me to take a long, hard, look at the things that I do that hold me back, and the things I can fix around me that hold me back. I can’t spin my tires and lament, because we all have sorrows to lament. I am a writer, and I need to push myself to use the skills and education I do have to do what I am able to do, and what I should be doing, writing and creating.
I am not really meant for much of the world, likely because of some of my own issues including being too damn gullible to be around people who easily lie. I take people at their word too often which has easily been one of my biggest undoings.
But I also have to look at myself, and my own short comings. If I am being honest with myself, most of my faults come from one thing, and it kills me to admit it, but it also presents itself often in my writing, more so with Flake City, so I better get used to accounting for it now, ahead of publication.
I am a coward.
I am terrified of doing the things I need to do to be successful, basic, every day things that every day people, have managed to do.
Put themselves out there, and actually try. I am terrified, for so many reasons, half of which I don’t even fully understand.
But, I also know that the few times I have allowed myself to just be myself, without others expectations, things were really good, if nothing else, for my contentment, which leads to the best content. Content content. It wasn’t until I let other people’s thoughts, comments, and opinions, enter into it, that I become more withdrawn, more unsure, and, a giant fucking coward.
I am terrified. Of so many things. But now it seems pretty stupid to be scared because holy fuck, everything is so scary. Everything is terrifying.
The scene I spoke of, in it’s raw form, is below:
“They say a coward dies a hundred deaths, but a solider only dies one.
But what if you’ve been a coward all your life, and you’ve already died a hundred deaths, just to be needed as a solider. Should I die once more? One more death? Haven’t I died enough?
You’ve died plenty. Now is the time to live. “
That is where I am at. I have died a hundred deaths…and now is the time to live.
I can’t keep living a half life where I am looking at the angles and the world, and I know what I see is unique, and I know what I can do is special, but yet I am constantly holding myself back.
“So and so says it’s hard”
“Only pretty, sparkly type people get to do that.”
“Some people don’t like what you think.”
I have to stand up, and say fuck it.
So I am loading a bowl, and turning on my camera, because I have to.
I can’t keep dying the cowards death of a million deaths, because I promise, it is so much more than a hundred deaths. You die a hundred deaths a day. Even the days you are a little brave, you are still a little coward.
I can’t keep letting me die like that.
I have to stand up and fucking be brave, no matter how my knees buckle, no matter how my eyes sting with tears of fear…I have to be brave.
I have to stop being a coward, and be brave enough to live, if not for me, and my living, but for the characters.
I can’t let them die a hundred deaths a day all at my own cowardice. I have cowards confronting scary situations in damn near every page of Flake City, I focus real hard on every day bravery…and now I have to be brave, to prevent them from dying the deaths I have died…and to save us all.
I have to be brave so we all may live.
And if that sounds dramatic and silly to you?
I can’t care any more. I can’t delete things that people might not like. I have to be true to me and not be scared of everything because frankly, those people will always be there, hoping they do get me to die those little coward deaths…
And I have done it. But my characters can’t, and I am too tired of dying to keep doing it either. I have to live.
So, I am a coward trying to be brave enough to do one very brave thing: live.
I wrote this blog about a week ago, after taking a long hard look at myself, and how I would be spending the next few weeks, with all of us in lock down, and much of my future uncertain. On Monday, I started my vlog channel, on WeedTube, and today I uploaded my fifth vlog, with another edited and ready to upload tomorrow. I have a few more in various stages of editing, and more planned to shoot. I even did a vlog about how to make and smoke a gravity bong to help people with shelter in place orders due to Coronavirus, to go with a blog I posted on the same subject, too. You may recall this type of content, where you get the information in every format, and everything offers something unique, is the type of content I have been wanting the time to make. And now I have it.
I have taken the plunge to be brave and to live. So I am posting this blog in all of its realism, all of the hard hitting truths, in hopes you may take some time to be brave. The scary kind of brave, I would say the scariest kind…the every day brave where you go after what you want no matter how it scares you. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and ignore how uncomfortable it is. Be brave, don’t die more of those coward deaths…if you have died it once you know it sucks, if not, take it from me…it does.
Bravery is better. I have already learned that one week into it.
Feel free to follow my journey on my WeedTube channel or continue to follow it here on the blog, every single day.
As always, my beloved blog readers and friends…
Thanks for reading.