I had no money for a full fridge much less a Red camera or a trip on the Orient Express.
“You should blog,” they said.
“Hmm.” I answered.
“You’re a thinker. Write for thinkers.”
“Thinkers won’t read a personal blog. They’ll find it frivolous.”
Way to judge my reader and my material before I even begin.
“What do you consider frivolous?”
“A monkey navigating life.”
“No. But they won’t know that.”
“Fear of failure.”
A few weeks later…
I asked a former boyfriend, who is a musician and a great friend, if he’d written any new songs recently. He who had mainly worked on film scores of late, made a grimace and with a haughty voice he sometimes affects, answered, “God no, song lyrics are subjective, self-indulgent. I’ve evolved out of teenage angst. Art needs to contribute to the betterment of the world.”
I’m entirely paraphrasing, but whatever he was saying, those are the statements I heard. He also once accused me of being a ‘details’ person instead of a ‘big picture’ person like he considered himself, which to me meant I was a perfectionist and he was sloppy.
So I kept back the words about to leave my mouth. Instead I thought, okay, ex-boyfriend, you’re being full-on pompous. No way was I going to tell him I planned to start a blog, since my idea of blogging was the quintessence of masturbatory self-indulgence.
In fact this encounter set me back twelve months from attempting the blog, not because I was easily influenced by someone else’s opinion, but because the opinion in question touched on concerns I already felt — did I really want to indulge my predilection towards self-indulgence?
Note that I doubled up on ‘indulge’ not because my writing sucks, but to demonstrate the eternal-mirror nature of self-reflective writing. Yep.
Twelve months later…
The idea of blogging had sprung up in one conversation after another with various individuals. I was going through a period of transition, dissatisfaction and uncertainty about the direction of my life (let’s be honest, I still am), and I specifically sought advice from overachieving persons whom I both respect and do not understand at all. I thought perhaps they could make me understand, and in doing so, maybe I could do what they do: Achieve. Big. And in every instance, each of those baffling overachievers suggested I blog.
I was a frustrated actress trapped in a soul-killing survival job and I wanted out. I told those from whom I sought advice: I want to work for myself. I want my own at-home business around which I could audition freely. And I want to write. Prose. Poetry. A feature film.
I had written and directed a handful of no-budget shorts on little better than home-movie equipment, yet all of my small films had won online contests and monetary awards. Based on such response and people around me behaving like I had promise in filmmaking, the future seemed well-defined.
Still, I kept myself stuck in a day job where I made my own schedule at whim, but consequently earned below the poverty level. So while I had all the time on earth for a full life pursuing study, passions, and worldwide travel, I had no money for a full fridge, much less a Red camera or a trip on the Orient Express.
I’d likely be accused of being a sensitive artsy type before a born go-getter, which really means life’s lemons are little pummeling fists capable of knocking me to the ground.
When I was eventually fired from that survival job, went through a crushing breakup, and became technically homeless for three months, self-induced catatonia wasn’t out of the question. But somehow, within six months, I booked the only audition I’d been on in a year and half for a national commercial, won a cash prize for first place in the only poetry contest I’d ever entered, and landed the lead in a feature film for which I was flown to Sri Lanka.
Flukes? Couldn’t say. But rummaging through hows and whys can’t hurt.
I’m a tangle of a person who has led a life of both bewildering adventure and mind-numbing idleness. I’ve enjoyed a pittance of achievement, and a heap of failure. But I remain unashamed because I’ve never failed to be exactly my own self.
So although I can’t lay claim to material about inspirational 180°s, I have a story or two about an overachiever trapped in a fuckup’s body. And you can decide for yourself if me blogging is — someone else’s — good or bad idea. (continue)
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