I’m having one of those “it’s hard not to be bitter” nights. I’ve been working at this craft since I was 17. I’ve spent countless hours honing my voice and learning how to pace a scene. I’m damned proud of each of the books I’ve written, despite their flaws, because I know with each one I poured all of my passion for this craft into them. The first three of the series were written under conditions that were as big of obstacles to creativity as I can imagine, yet somehow I persevered and managed to create three pretty good books. Despite the quality of my writing, I still feel mired in the muck of obscurity.
Part of what makes me bitter is that piles of horse dung like Twilight make millions, while many writers like myself kill ourselves at day jobs, hoping for a break. It’s hard not to be bitter. I’ve worked my ass off this summer to finish book four before school starts back because once the semester begins, I’ll be so overwhelmed with bullshit I won’t have the creative energy to write much new prose. Night in and night out, I’ve hammered out scene after scene, believing this book is even better than the first three. Only time will tell if I’m right.
Another aspect of the creeping bitterness is social media. In this age, it’s absolutely essential to have a social media presence just to be noticed, but everywhere is so inundated with crap, from stupid cat memes to political diatribes to gossip that it’s hard to be heard among the din. Then, there’s the clusterfuck known as Twitter. I’m sorry, but I hate Twitter. It’s just endless noise, barely recognizable as English, and try as I might, I can’t make any sense out of it.
At this point, I feel like the line from “Slow Rollin Low” — “Ain’t that just like a fool / Want to ride on them trains / When them trains is all gone.” I’m a dinosaur, an antiquated relic. I feel like all of my hard work has been for nothing. Usually, what sells in high volumes are the bubblegum shit like Twilight or the smut porn like Fifty Shades of Gray. It’s hard to sit here and not be bitter when I feel like my talent has been wasted. And please, before anyone comments about how I’ve touched lives, consider that a whole mountain of good feelings doesn’t pay the electric bill or buy a bag of groceries. I don’t need wealth, but I do need to make a living at this. Otherwise, it just seems self-indulgent.