While reading 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, hurtling myself toward 1,000 essays published over the past 3+ years on Better Zombie, I’ve thought about how much of those “habits” are things you learn as you write. This website started as an experiment. Maybe something to do occasionally. It just kept gaining momentum. Not in terms of monetary compensation. Other than one essay netting me a $40 voucher, I haven’t made a cent here, and I’m happy about that.
Why would I expect any money from all this?
I write essays that challenge my readers to live a life free of the things that interrupt their lives, by purging those thoughts from my minds. It’s not challenging material to read or write, but it’s certainly uncomfortable in terms of taking earnest looks at yourself to decide what kind of life you want to live the most. If you get bored every day, why not figure out what you love to do and focus your time around that?
I love letting my mind wander across the page.
This sort of mental vomiting I’ve been doing over the years has yielded career rewards. My management appreciates my writing, communication, and self-awareness. These are skills that I can apply to anything in life now, even if I were to call this the last one, which would be impossible. I’ve been writing daily for as long as I can remember. There are scarce few things I’d rather be doing with my life. I like writing even more than orgasming. Whereas the latter gives a temporary respite from life’s stresses, the former allows me to address those stresses in ways to actually solve them.
I’m late to the blog trend.
I doubt there’s any money to be made anymore just with running a blog. It’s all about presenting my work as a means to option myself to whoever might want my brand of writing. I had someone interested in a journalistic essay I wrote for another publication, another no money effort, except they wanted me to edit it down. I told them to edit it themselves and let me know their results. They never replied.
That’s another thing.
I’ve been banging my head up against over 688,667 words as of September 9th. I’m writing this essay early because, by the time 1,000 essays publish, I’ll have already moved onto the next one. That’s the thing: You scream into the nothingness enough and eventually you develop a voice. My first step toward becoming the writer that will be capable of writing “The Story” – my most recent fiction attempt being “Safe and Warm” and my most recent long-form written piece about it being “Developing Worlds Logically” – is developing the ability to write.
I’m not concerned with commercial-ability.
I’m that certain sort of insane that will forego temptations toward money because it will distract me from my goals. I’m reminded of The Holy Mountain, where after the crew burn their money and go on their quest to find the Holy Mountain, they are briefly seduced by a town of charlatans that live unfulfilled lives. After seeing what they have to offer, they leave, continuing their quest. For me, “The Story” is my Holy Mountain, and it is better for me to die climbing the mountain than to live amongst charlatans.
Most of my actions serve my ability to write it, no matter how long it takes. My recent professional efforts have set me back in a few ways in that regard and excelled me in others. By this essay’s publication, I’ll have switched to my new schedule – nights – and if I write John and Trishna in similar life roles to that which I’ve had, then they, too, will take a night shift phone gig. I’m not sure if it’d be overly technical work like what I’ve found myself doing, but it serves as a good foundation for my bank account and for my time exploring their lives.
What if I were to achieve success today?
What if shortly after this essay’s publication, I get a buzz that helps me become more financially independent? Digibro talked about this in Goin’ Underground. He wanted to showcase the works of some people he began appreciating but was worried that this would cause them unwanted attention. I can see why that would be a problem. I’ve been writing in my own echo chamber for 1,000 essays – some of which were just junk articles, really – so to get an outside audience of critical readers would be a change of pace.
I just think back to the newspaper’s wall of hate.
At work, I’ll get random people saying weird shit, some of which is directed toward me. I need to develop a thicker skin, but I won’t do that sitting in a glass castle. If I want to be able to write “The Story,” I have to endure the brunt of life’s adversities. I can’t let little things bother me. If I can position myself to minimize that, hey, that’s all the better, but there are certain things about life that just don’t benefit us in any way.
Those sorts of things should be avoided at all costs.
The thing I’ve learned most while writing as much as I have is to not worry about the details. The words can speak for themselves. I can edit if needed, but most of the time, the first draft works just as well. It’s more potent. I can edit out some of the filler, but the filler is where the thoughts reside. I suppose.
Let’s return back to the start.
1,000 essays. I have no plans to give up. It might be nice to balance my life more than just writing, reading, and exploring reality, but really, isn’t that all we need in life? To find one’s Holy Mountain and develop all the tools necessary to climb it? If you haven’t found yours yet, keep searching.
It took me 30 years to realize what makes me feel whole.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I guess this is my book review of 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriter, which has some good points from a writing perspective, but needs to be better edited, and isn’t too helpful for non-screenwriters, I suppose. I’ll give it 3 stars.|
|Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.|
|Picture: Screencap of my dashboard.|
|Written On: September 9th [56 minutes, from 5:55pm to 6:51pm, with some minimal distractions, WordPress]|
|Last Edited: September 9th [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|