Greetings children. It has been a dreadfully long time since I’ve shifted my focus towards the “Add New Post” button here. I can only apologize for my absence, as I’ve been a busy man.
With plans of moving, plans for new jobs, and plans for trying to move into the dimension of an independent adult trying to pick up table scraps to survive, it’s baffling at how fast time can move. However, the more I write by way of pen on paper, and for the practical purpose of attempting to make a living I might add; one would think that eventually the sparks of creativity would move off the page and into the minds of the masses of readers actively engaged in seeking new, and original material to add to their vast libraries. (I’m kidding, I know the current generation holds an incredible disregard for any such appreciation of the necessity of being literate)
All comedy aside, the point I’m trying to navigate to is simple. In fact, it’s so much so that it is quite possibly the most common question plaguing the majority of aspiring writers today. Any artist in fact, could be haunted by the thought. It’s a roadblock in the mind of the intellectual, and remains a constant threat to future productivity.
“When will people acknowledge my work”?
The grim, almost tragic reality of this question is enough to dishearten anyone reaching for the stars. The truth is, there is a slim to none chance that I as a writer will ever be recognized by anyone on the streets of my city. There is an even less likely chance that anyone will ever come to know me by a title of my work, or know distinguishing aspects of my writing that bring to light what sort of morally acceptable person I may or may not be. Recently, David McCullough Jr. received quite a bit of attention for giving a commencement speech for high school graduates that detailed to the class of 2012 exactly what needed to be said. Unfortunately, the mass populace regarded the story precisely how one would predict them to: with much praise, as well as a slight degree of shock that he said exactly what was on the mind of everyone around him. The thought was not original, nor was it necessarily bold in my opinion. In the eyes of someone significantly younger and less experienced in the world than himself, that was merely an ideal that I felt he was obligated as an educator to share with them. In a world of carefree, hypersensitive idealists who want to start a civil revolution every time someone screws up their order at Starbucks, Mr. McCullough’s thought was a refreshing look at the petri dish of an age we live in.
It’s difficult trying to be a writer in the age of digital information. I can only describe it as being a toy in a claw machine, where all of the prizes look the same and are all forced to occupy the space of the large transparent case, with the most cruel joke being that you just so happen to be buried at the bottom beneath every other toy. While this may be a hilarious analogy, I also believe it to be amusingly accurate.
The average blogger is not only competing with other bloggers anymore. They’re now competing with the regular cast of every blog site imaginable, tumblr users, reddit randoms, facebook addicts, Twitter celebrities (who link to everything else on the planet), any “opinion” titled article on any individual major media site, and dare I say every single person on YouTube who dictates to the world in their 45 second long video that they’re a “vlogger”. Needless to say, it’s not easy for the average person wielding the power of the pen to keep up with the ever demanding need for fresh thinking, not to mention the difficulty of keeping the attention of every single person on the planet who has ever gone on a two-hour long spree of looking at nothing but ridiculous pictures of “cute kittens” in a single google search.
Pumping out worthwhile material in a thought-provoking, let alone “thought-puncturing” standard that I try to shoot for consistently is incredibly tedious, not to mention requires either the stimulation of something that has recently irritated me, or has been so grave of a matter that it has forced me into a state of perpetual concentration on a single issue for hours at a time. Any writer whose fingers have felt like liquid after many hours of furiously typing will know that once you start on a subject that has pierced your passion and is now dragging you along for the ride, is impossible to quit once you have started and until you feel that you’ve beaten the point to death with a blunt object, you won’t cease your tirade of truth. It’s that wonderful blazing vision that gives wings to your ideas and allows you that instantly gratifying feeling of accomplishment. That same feeling is that which propels you into a euphoric mindset of wanting to tell others; the notion that you wish to divulge to the world your mindset regardless of consequence or reaction. It’s a profound feeling, knowing that what you’re saying could potentially have an impact on someone else, but when stacked against the rest of the internet, let alone the volumes upon volumes of philosophers who have already laid their mark on the Earth, it can discourage even the most empowered artist.
That’s why, while I may feel more often than not that I am a voice of reason to those who have strayed too far from the realm of possibility, the truth is that I’m just as lost in the void of hopeless idealism that many others reside in. I strive incessantly to find a purpose through my writings, and while I may never have a fan base, cult following, or even the cleverly misleading “15 minutes of fame” that so many people crave, I can rest assured in the fact that I’ve made a valiant effort to try to reach those heights.
I am a writer because I have to. I am not a writer for fame, or financial security, or even in the vain hopes that some publishing company will stumble across my page and grant me all the freedom I need to spread my “word” to the masses. I use my pen (or keyboard, I should say) to communicate words that would otherwise go unnoticed in the world around me. I enjoy every word that I type up, because I know it’s an activity that I never have to regret afterwards. I will never look at this as a waste of time, or simply conceal later to hold what’s left of my reputation intact. This is who I am, and to those who are familiar with me, my most unsettling thoughts don’t cause them to flinch anymore. They’ve abandoned all ideas of taboo or censorship when speaking to me, as they understand that any thought with purpose should never be met with hostility or contempt.
For those of you writers out there who grasp the point I’ve made here, spread the word. It doesn’t matter that you’re just another keyboard pounding, pen draining, microphone destroying individual. What does matter is that you’re still doing it. You’re doing it for yourself, in whatever fashion that pleases you. Anyone who has witnessed me write can tell you I’m a head-banging, obnoxiously singing, heavy metal adoring wordsmith, and to take that away from me would kill who I am as a person, which is more than the celebration of my work by the masses could ever give back.
Ladies and gentlemen, keep that pen moving.