Respect One Another’s Creative Energy
Everyone has their own way of recharging. Some join friends at the bar for karaoke. They stumble out of the bathroom with their pants at their ankles to sing along with off-key.
“Sweet Caroline. Bah-bah-bah!”
Some set out wine and cheese platters and go around in circles discussing highbrow literature. Some park themselves in an ass grove and multi-slack, gaming on one screen and crushing half a season of science fiction on the other.
Others sling yoga mats over their shoulders and stretch that tension out, others sprint around the neighborhood at 4AM, and others lift ingredients into pans.
Whatever it is that you do to revitalize your vitality may good vibes be upon you.
I write. I love the activities listed above, but writing gives me a sense of agency I don’t get from other outlets. Blogging gives my passing observations a sense of permanence. Poetry gives my abstract emotions a tangible form, and narrative writing turns my daydreams into something worth sharing.
When the writing is flowing it’s a big jolt to my self-esteem. When it’s not it taxes the energy it’s supposed to be replenishing. After a day of dealing with draining customers and a night of staring at a blank page I find myself completely tapped. I don’t even have the energy to make a Netflix selection let alone migrate to the bed from my couch cushions.
Creative endeavors are both risky and rewarding. Measuring the costs and the benefits is an undertaking. A lot of patience goes into fine-tuning that work/life balance.
As artists age we can’t help but compare our status to our career minded friends. How are we supposed to afford children in this economy when our Amazon royalties are but pennies? As our lives fill with commitments our creative careers go on the back burner.
A lot of artists give up and way they reconcile with all that wasted energy is by distancing themselves from their creative identities.
When I Change From the First Person to the Second
It’s hard to entertain the masses in an era when they have too many options. That’s why so many of you have put your artistic tools in the closet the first time you felt making a career of it was hopeless. Now you’d rather not even identify yourself as a creative in conversation. There’s too much stigma attached to the term in the circles you run. For many of you creatives are either web designers or copywriters and anyone else who calls themselves that are snobs whose noses are turned so high they fail to see the naiveté of their silly schemes.
Sure you might have strummed a few bars of “Wonder Wall” back in college, but now your acoustic guitar is just another piece furniture. Sure you might have tried your hand at portraiture, but you sold all your lights and lenses to pay off your credit card. Sure you might have had an idea for a better blockbuster than half the crap out there, but you never wrote it down, and your elevator pitch is lost in the basement of your mind.
Now you make baristas the butt of your jokes. “How do you expect to make it into the Museum of Modern Art when you can’t even get a latte leaf right?”
You give daydreamers a wake up call, brush away their thought clouds, and smack them back down earth. You punch downward.
You couldn’t reach the grapes overhead so now you ensure anyone who tries that those grapes are sour.
Now You’re an Anti-Muse
Too many failed creatives become hecklers, trolls, and armchair critics. Criticism is great when you’re literate in what you’re analyzing and not, say, harassing actresses online, not, say, telling a first time vlogger to pack it in, not, say, telling an artist at their own opening that you could do the same thing.
You need to learn to suffer newcomers gladly. You need to recognize that not everyone is driven by the same incentives you are. If you’ve got a negative edge then you need to temper your first impressions before you share them.
If you only settle for one type of entertainment your brain will suffer from lack of nourishment. If all art must conform to your exact expectations you will get bored with what you experience. If you want familiar only different you’ll just end up hating everything. You’ll be the curmudgeon at the water cooler nobody wants to talk to for fear their favorite things will be torn to shreds.
Lose the Tude
Maybe you think creative endeavors are best left in Los Angeles where industry insiders can bestow their titles through generations of nepotism. Maybe you think in this new connected world communities don’t need locally grown artists. Maybe you think, “Well, fuck it. I didn’t make it so why should any one else?”
Whatever your reasoning is ask yourself: What are you contributing?
There’s educating the uninitiated to the hardships of creative endeavors and there’s shitting all over their ambition. You’re smart enough to know the difference.
Do you think you’re doing the world a service by demeaning artists who’ve yet to develop? Why have you taken it upon yourself to prune budding young talent before it blossoms? Do you understand that not everyone is driven by coin or copulation?
When you go around stomping out sparks you make the world pretty dark. Don’t be an anti-muse. Don’t be an asshole. Don’t try to make yourself feel powerful by shitting on other people’s goals.
Maybe the world really does have too many would-be artists who think they can “make it.” Too many who think they’ll be one of the chosen few who get famous. And yes, life is likely to give them a harsh wake up call. So why do you have to give it, other than to relish in your own self-righteousness? Do you just like kicking people while they’re down? Because the world definitely has too many douche bags to go around.
Long rant made short: Don’t be a fucking a dick.
Meet Noelle, a Hollywood transplant that’s been subsisting on instant ramen and false hope. She’s on the verge of moving back into her mother’s trailer when her agent convinces her to take a meeting at the Oralia Hotel. Enchanted by the art deco atmosphere Noelle signs a contract without reading the fine print.
Now she has one month to pen a novel sequestered in a fantasy suite where a hack writer claims he had an unholy encounter. With whom you ask? Well, he has many names: Louis Cypher, Bill Z. Bub, Kel Diablo. The Devil.
Noelle is skeptical, until she’s awoken by a shadow figure with a taste for souls.
Desperate to make it Noelle stays on, shifting the focus of her story to these encounters. Her investigations take her through the forth wall and back again until she’s blurred the line between reality and what’s written. Is there a Satanic conspiracy, is it a desperate author’s insanity, or something else entirely?