Depressalin: Chapter 7 “I’m Not Really a Writer”

Here’s Chapter 7. I figured a couple chapters in one day wouldn’t be too terribad.

Dreams of light, I’ve had them all of my life. All the time. No, I don’t know a reason. Living in guilt. Shame.— 16 Volt “Dreams of Light

 

I am not really a writer.

Allow me to rephrase. I am not a writer driven by the passion which drives most writers. I’m a lazy wordsmith, preferring creation and dreaming up new things and how to say them, rather than focusing on completion or “honing the craft”. Stephen King says to write ten pages a day? Fuck that. Sometimes I’m lucky if I can write ten pages of something in a month. In a year. In a lifetime.

However, I will to note that money is always a perfect motivator to make me write like madman.

Most writers who know me consider me to be lazy, in all probability; unfocused, unrefined and incredibly fucking lucky anybody at all takes me seriously. My writer work-ethic is made from shit, and if weren’t for my innate ability to pull cool sounding things from my ass, I would be completely nothing in the realm of Writing Stuff. Then again, writers vary. The style is different from person to person who creates.

So, in essence, I am a creator. A god of my very own page. Not just A god, but THE god. (Make sure you pronounce the THE as “THEE” in your mind voice, alright?) I somehow continue to persist as this hero of my own creation, voice and mind, regurgitating ideas, screams and laments already published by heroes who have come before me.

Ah, yes, influences. I, as anyone else, have them. Mine are Legion, to be honest. Legion not just meaning “lots”, but a combination of some kind of demonic Voltron combo-bot of “Holy Shit!”.

As a writer, I would like to admonish myself right now for saying “of” too many times in a sentence. Same goes for words like “like”.

I have so many influences. But I think I can boil down my top influences into a few people to start with. When I write science fiction, my Fathers are Phillip K. Dick and Heinlein. If I delve into some horror, it’s Brian Lumley and Lovecraft. For fantasy, Fritz Leiber and Robert E. Howard. My two catch-all Gods are Hunter S. Thompson and PJ O’Rourke. My weird uncles are Dostoevsky, Kafka and Bukowski. I also deeply admire the likes of Bret Easton Ellis, Nick Hornby and Matt Taibbi. I’m told a lot of my writing reminds people of Chuck Palahniuk, but I don’t see it. I liked Fight Club the movie better than the book—sorry, Chuck. I do enjoy the book Choke, though.

Lots of name-dropping there, sure. I suppose I’m a sad, sad snowman made from many bitter snowflakes. Shit, I forgot to mention Bruce Sterling and William Gibson. Without their influences, I would have probably not got so much into industrial music and cyberpunkery.

Continuing with the boiling and such, I must state that I’m not always into the aforementioned writers writings as much as I am into their ideas. Their take on things. Some of it is pretty painful to read, and I’ll come right out and say reading Dostoevsky and H.P. Lovecraft can be painful, laborious and just plain dull, but I love their ideas. I mean, that’s the way it sometimes is, right? You can’t tell me that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote wonderful silky prose which oozed literary masterpiece victory. His stuff read like heavily footnoted historical dissertations at the best of times and at its lowest point read like stereo instructions for vertically challenged persons with furry feet who secretly had a desire for good ‘ol James Ronald Reuel to insert some goddamned unicorns with machineguns in their Own Private Middle-Earth.

And I love Tolkien. Figure that one out.

If you combine Fritz Leiber with Tolkien you get the vast majority of decent fantasy writers who followed these great men. Throw in all those wannabe manly-boys who lived, breathed and pooped Conan and Kull, and you have an entire generation of rabid fan-beings who clamber the fucking walls, frothing from their eyes for the next Robert Jordan Wheel of Time book.

Fuck, even Death isn’t a sanctuary from fandom for that poor guy. Charon (you know, my ex-wife) eagerly awaits her next WoT Fix. ‘Course, she doesn’t give a half-shit what anyone’s influences are and she holds the speed record for Quickest Time Having One’s Eyes Glaze Over When Steve Explains Where Stuff Comes From.

How the fuck she ended up with my Conan dvds and feels she has the right to keep them still baffles the shit out me.

What the hell am I doing? Do I really digress this hard? Damn, I’m sorry, gang. My bad.

Therein lies my problem: I want to say a lot about a whole bunch of stuff. I start talking about one thing and I end up touching on countless other subjects. This kind of ADD style can make me hard to stand much of the time. I just speak my mind and while there are those who feel I painstakingly choose each word with care for maximum effect, the truth is I shoot from the hip. Almost always. I don’t do second drafts very often, unless it’s a technical edit for grammar and the like. I suppose that can stick in someone’s craw. Being able to just blab and blab and sound not-so-shitty at it is a rare talent , indeed.

Is that bragging? Well, fuck it, just being honest. What’s the point if I can’t be honest? Maybe you think I’m full of myself. I’m okay with that. I’m not merely writing this kinda shit into this as some sort of pre-emptive strike form of defence –

Maybe I am?

Goddammit. I hate these sorts of self-revelations mid-work where I don’t know exactly where to go. I mean, I can make it seem flawless or seamless by simply making it look like I meant the whole thing you read now. But that’s not me. I stop working on this sort of thing when I become bored or distracted. So the cigarette I’m gonna go smoke now has nothing to do with any of that usual writer shit, okay?

Doom dee doom dee doooo…

Hey, guess what? I not only went out for a smoke there, but I actually came back inside and decided to go to bed. Man, I was tired. But here I am again, the next day, writing this… shit.

I mentioned all of those writers who influenced me, and it’s got me thinking. I’m sure glad they came before me. I have not only gotten to read their works, study their respective styles and talk about their material, I’ve also read all the criticism. See, being told your creation sucks giant piles of rotting dicks can be a disheartening experience, to put it mildly. You work like a fucking possessed, cracked-out rodent to summon a piece of your soul into the pentagram of a creative medium and then some (usually unpublished) asshole strolls on by and takes a hot, steaming dump on your cherished baby. If the reviewer is particularly crafty (and in need of attention/publishing) they’ll tear you apart in an amusing manner. And I don’t mean amusing to you. No, to you it’s a razorblade tornado, destroying you like the Allies destroyed Dresden. It burns, it aches, it most certainly annoys on a level unknown to you before. It’s like a mind-raping cancer beast, hating you on every level. You want to hunt that asshole down and unleash a mantis horde on their face and genitals.

You want them to suffer.

You want them to pay.

Most of all you want them to admit to the world that they were oh-so-wrong.

How do I know these things? I’ve been that reviewer, man. I’ve been that guy who gets the creator hate-mail and fan mewlings blithering on about how I misunderstood their “meaning”, or didn’t “get it” or that I simply “suck”. What’s worse was when I would get backlash for GOOD reviews. “Sell-out”, “suck-up”, “ass-licker”.

Heard ‘em all.

Then I was foolish enough one day to take on a heavily read internet-magazine based rumor column, called All The Rage, where I dug up news and rumors from around the comic book industry and tried to make a weekly deadline come hell or high water… for no pay. And oh, fuck, man, did I ever receive a shellacking on a weekly basis. Sure, I can admit that I deserved it sometimes. A couple famous (or infamous) comics creators dragged me across their little intardnet ego-reactor fed forums, proclaiming me to be a yellow journalist, a retard or a fucking jerk. Granted, I don’t have the knack to be an asshole gossip monger. Just an asshole. Anyway, thus, and all that, I learned the hard way what it was like to be scrutinized by thousands of people for about a year.

Right. Not just people. NERDS. Fellow slavering, nose-picking dick-punchers who have zero mercy from a lifetime of being, well, fucking nerds, and have even less tolerance for anyone who may get more attention than they do playing whatever character they play in whatever mass multiplayer video game they’re into. Or, more succinctly put, fellow nerds who mock and ridicule others for kicks. Turnabout is fair play, and I accepted the role-reversal as best I could.

Later on I’ll talk about how it started the ruination of my marriage. That’s a whole other ball of crazy-wax. But in conclusion, I ended up moving to Victoria, B.C., and after another column or two, I gave up on that shit. Partially to save my marriage and partially to save my sanity. I know I let some people down, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was dealing with too much, having a entire space zeppelin of excuses like finding out my older son is autistic and dealing with that, my marriage starting to fall apart (have I mentioned this?), living with my bastardfuck in-laws and being soooo stressed out, I just wanted to sleep through the night for a change. My real relief wouldn’t happen until I found out I have a wheat allergy, but giving up All the Rage was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I’ll be talking about my ATR experiences in another chapter, and I’m quite sure it will be depressingly funny.

But yeah, where am I going with all this?

I am not really a writer. Admitting that makes me more of a writer than I give myself credit for, I’ll wager.

Or not.

You be the judge.

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One Response to “Depressalin: Chapter 7 “I’m Not Really a Writer””

  1. […] depressalin Saving Throes from a Charming ThirtyNothing « Depressalin: Chapter 7 “I’m Not Really a Writer” […]

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