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tacocat  ·  145 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Judging A Book By Its Sobriety

Some David Foster Wallace essay says writers are introverts and observers and outsiders and that's why they write. Be cause of the separation and observation and sensitivity.

I don't usually say it but Stephen King is sorta shitty since he got sober. More shitty since he got got hit by a van for some reason but he was a beast when he was doing cocaine and drinking a fifth every day and terrified of himself at the same time.

I'm a late comer to the writing thing. I don't tell people I'm a writer. Or an artist and I have a BFA in studio art. I keep that to myself for other reasons than to tone down the pretension. I've made a little money as an artist and you're right. What sold was shit that led to a depression death spiral. Literally. Kinda. I've learned that I don't want to make art for other people. I don't want to write for other people either but language is so much more powerful and relevant than "fine" art. Banksy has a quote about the most creative artists now being ad designers and he's not wrong. I need art as an outlet seprarate from income. Having no encouragement as a writer until I was 22 and no success until I was thirty four tempers my outlook on writing as a profession. I'll still do it. But I've got a couple things I want to finish and if they don't suceed the way I want I'll be fine having fun trolling the TJ Millers of the world on Twitter because I just enjoy the challenge of satisfying myself.

I know you're anti This American Life and anti podcast but Ira Glass makes a good point

And nobody tells people the truth when they're starting out because the truth is terrifying. I was savage as fuck in undergrad during critique. I think I made girls cry. But if I was a teacher I'd be a lot more tactful and constructive.

Writers, artists, musicians, what have you are between slightly and massively more self aware than regular folks. It's how you get better. By being brutally honest with yourself and confronting that which most people ignore. Inwardly and in the case of some classic literature in the world at large. Goddamn right that's a lot to take in and it makes a lot of people want to numb themselves to the reality they accept it a way that most people are content to ignore.

    Write drunk. Edit sober.

    -Hemingway

Yeah. Not so sure about that anymore but I took it to heart at one point. The image of the bohemian even reinforces the idea that you gotta die for what you love if what you love is some higher damn calling to expose the flaws in society because your ability elevates you above the plebs. Or whatever. And that idea is about 150 years old maybe. Still an easy trap for young artists to fall into. I did it. And I should have known better at 22. But I started to drink when I was like 12 and I didn't know anything else and in ten years of use I lost the ability to give any shits about ever fitting in to a world I'd been trying to escape since before puberty so I was angry at everyone and everything including myself but I had some kind of outlet which is fortunate and probably makes me way more optimistic of a person at 35 than could be expected given my life experience. I was surprised (and disappointed) that I was the more upbeat person in my last relationship with a person who lives a very charmed life while I'd slept in the pews of an unlocked church in February because of being a fuck up.

Whatever. I've been veering off topic for a while. This tiny box makes looking at where I started a polemic usually more trouble than it's worth but I know I'm drifting