As so eloquently stated by Mises (and elaborated by Rothbard), human beings use means to achieve ends. This is known as “praxeology”. I decided to embark on writing this as, not too long ago, I was sitting and thinking about what I was doing. Now what exactly was it that I was doing? Good question. I was thinking about stuff that I do: namely, writing and making Youtube videos. I decided to do these things in an attempt to make a career that I thought I would actually enjoy. It is my life’s mission to have a job that I actually like, and not one that I hate, but need. I’ve written before about how I came to have this “philosophy” for myself.
But I sat and thought about writing, and Youtube: specifically, how unknown I am in these regards. Although I’ve, most of the time, been optimistic about my ability to succeed in my “ultimate endeavor”, on this occasion, I was not. I thought about the work that I had done, and how unknown it was. And thought about continuing to put even more fervor into my work to get things done, only to have the work continue to remain unknown. Perhaps I’m just an “immature adult” that needs to “grow up”. But, deep down, I have been convinced that I can succeed. I looked at the current level of my “success”, and was dejected. Knowing how much more work I wanted to create, and my vision of where I could take it financially, felt destroyed. I felt like I had to find something else to do. I felt like I finally need to factor in money more so than the enjoyment of the labor.
Perhaps you find that funny. I’m not going to go into detail about my current financial state. But, as I have said, my main goal is to find a career that I actually enjoy. And, currently, writing and Youtube are the only things that I can realistically (go ahead and laugh) think of. The only things that I think I can work towards that will make me happy. Any time that I’ve tried to come up with an “alternative” (specifically “realistic” ones), I have not been happy. You may say that it doesn’t matter if I’m happy or not, but I have, and will continue, to address my philosophy about “happiness”.
I’ve written about my laziness before. And, clearly, that contributes to my lack of financial success in some way. But, perhaps it’s because of my youth, and the natural “rebelliousness” that comes with it, I’m not satisfied to only dream of financial success at my current “dream careers”. Nay, I also desire to, in almost every way possible, succeed in every way that should be “impossible” to succeed in. What do I mean? Well, for one, my Youtube thumbnails. I enjoy the atrocious thumbnails that I make in Microsoft Paint. The thumbnails that literally anyone could make better than me. All across Youtube, there are professional thumbnails that are pleasing to the eye. And I don’t dislike that. But, perhaps due to my “youthful contrarianness”, I can’t help but “prove to the world” that I can succeed without those “professional” thumbnails. Trivial and childish? Perhaps. And, once again, perhaps it is because of my youth, my youthful ignorance, or my ignorance. But that is also included in my “career goals”: not only proving that I can turn what I enjoy doing into a career, but that I can also do it “unprofessionally”.
The final, and much more difficult aspect of this, is, admittedly, insane. The final “contrarian” point is that I want to purposefully make people dislike me in order to make people like me. This one is much harder for me to reconcile (obviously). What do I mean? Well, I have found (as has everyone), that throughout the course of my life, I have made people feel anger, discomfort, or other negative emotions, simply by the way that I naturally wanted to be. What do I mean? Well, my sense of humor, for one. It’s very dark, perverted, profane, etc. I have experienced that it makes many people uncomfortable, and, after I started putting it on the internet, that it makes people angry. And I’ve honestly started to fuel off of these things. I think it is because if I wish to express what I naturally desire to express, then I have to fuel off of these things. I can either adapt, shut up, ignore, or use that for motivation, and because my desire to express myself honestly is so strong, I choose to fuel. It isn’t enough for me to just ignore people’s anger and discomfort. I want to magnify it. I don’t believe this is out of sadism. It is about me speaking honestly, freely, and confidently. It is my overpowering desire to not be silenced. My desire to speak is stronger than my care for the feelings of others (to a certain extent, of course). The thought of proving people wrong, succeeding in a way that no one thought possible, motivates me. It’s what drives me to continue. My love of the work is the strongest reason why I create the work. But my desire to sell the work stems from, obviously, the desire for financial security, but also just because I’m told I can’t. The typical immature, childish reason to do anything in this world. When I developed this belief (thanks to how I was raised), I listened to successful person after successful person, and tried to find something within myself that I felt like connected me to them. And a big thing that I related to was that all of them told of how they were always told that they’d never succeed. That right there clicked with me. “Hey, me too! I can succeed, too!” That was pretty much my only reason for feeling like I could relate to these successful people. It wasn’t because I believed I was particularly talented. Just that I was told that I’d never succeed in finding a “dream job”.
Perhaps, one day I’ll finally accept one (or more) of the, I’m sure, many reasons that people finally “grow up”. But I’m on a mission to find out everything for myself, regardless of the scale of the negative consequences that I may experience because of my choices.
Of course, I don’t really know how to convince anyone that I can do this. The work speaks for itself, and do I truly believe that my work as it stands is enough for success? No, I don’t. It’s a starting point, but there’s a Hell of long way to go. But I believe that I can do it. You can’t arrive at a destination without steps, and I believe that articles like this, and the work that I’ve done up to this point, are steps (it remains to be seen just exactly how big these “steps” will truly be in retrospect).
I’ve already written about how I believe my writing stacks up with “the best”, and you can read that here. I’ve also written about how I feel about my writing, and how I can get better. I’ve written a little bit about why I write, but I believe I could elaborate on that further; and I’ve also written about selling writing, but I will write more about that as well.
I’m currently at the stage where I realize how important my mental independence really is. I’m starting to realize how important my choices are, and that I have control (to what degree, I don’t know). I don’t need to be told what to write, or how, or when. I’m in control of all of that. Even if I suck, I’m in control. And it’s just going to take time and experience to figure out what I’m going to be taking, where I’m going to take it, and how I’m going to get it there (and why is important to know as well). It’s a slow process, but I’m thankful I don’t have a formal “teacher” distracting me from my own personal literary journey (no canon!)
I am beginning to understand that literature is a slow process; especially for me. I can’t explain why I want to write when I do, or what makes me want to write about something. But I can tell that, whatever it is I’m ultimately doing, it is a long process. There’s a lot of quitting involved. A seemingly infinite number of baby steps. There’s a method to the madness. The more mad, the better, in my opinion. Deep down, I think I know that time makes things better. The brain ages, and gets better at things, before it gets worse at things. It’s very odd. It seems out of my control. When I was younger, I remember trying so hard to do so many different things, and failing spectacularly. I was frequently discouraged, and reached many breaking points. Developed coping mechanisms that I thought I would continue for the rest of my life. But, eventually, the coping mechanisms became problems themselves, and I had to hope and pray that things changed. I finally just got better at stuff. I have no idea how: I just fucking did. And I know writing will be no different. I can already tell, as I read stuff that I started writing several years ago, just how bad it was. What has changed over those years? I honestly don’t know. I don’t feel like I’ve written enough to say that practice helped me get better. All I can say, similarly to the past, is that divine intervention just changed some things, thankfully. I have big dreams in my head, but I know it is going to take painfully slow steps to get there. But the good thing is that once they are taken, there’s no need to backtrack. The work you put in will make you feel good when you get to where you are going. But you need stops along the way, even if they are frequent and lengthy. I think breaks are just as important when working on something as the “working” on it is. They shouldn’t be avoided.
I need to learn to love the process. The struggles, although annoying, are important. It makes the task at hand more fun. Looking at a vision of the future, and all of the obstacles that stand in the way of that completed vision, are very interesting. They make the journey more fun. They just give you something to do with life, and that is very important. It’s the difference between living and feeling alive.
I don’t know when or how I’m going to get better at writing. I can tell that this is a huge challenge. I’m sure that, the more I get involved, the more of the iceberg is going to show. But, hopefully by that point, I will be prepared enough to do with the iceberg whatever the fuck it is that I intend to do with it. But the point is that I want the iceberg, and I want to see what happens as a result of it.
It’s quite humorous to think, just a few short years ago, that I thought I was a “good” writer. Now, those “good” writings are just godawful. Now, today’s writings feel good. I’m encouraged that, in the future, these words will be horrible, and I’ll have beautiful words to replace these with. It makes the journey worthwhile, even if it is hard to figure out what the first steps should be. And, of course, even if, many times, I wish to just stay at home and watch T.V. instead of traversing the tough terrain of the tundra looking for the tip of that iceberg poking through the membrane film of my mind.
Reading is a struggle as well. There’s so much to read. The brain has finite energy. “Exhaustion” is the name of the game for everyone. Writers and readers are no exception.
There’s a fine line between fate and will. I’m constantly balancing between the two. Action leads to failure. But it also leads to success. It leads to exhaustion. But it leads to purpose. It leads to bad work. But it leads to good work.
I’m just one small writer in this world. In the past, I thought I could be one of the best. Now, I don’t care as much. Just one of those weird differences that just happen with time. It’s just hard to explain. Experience. Biological growth. It’s just destiny. It’s just weird. The shitty writing of today will be funny in the future. And the future writing will have to be better, because that’s what happens when you put time and effort into something. Usain Bolt once crawled. We all just want to be retired gold medalists as soon as possible.
My mind has visions, and it’s a slow process. There’s no way around this. This is “just how it is.” But I long for the days when it’s all better than it is today. As much as I hate bringing up my age, I can “hang my hat” on the fact that I’m young, and if I live long enough, will be writing for a long time. That has to bear some fruits of quality somehow.
There’s a certain craziness I wish to unleash to the world. It’s frustrating to dream when your dreams aren’t completed. It’s hard to continue when it is so daunting; when you’re as bad at doing what you want to do as I am. The process is a slow drip; but time creates the erosion. Drips make a significant impact over time. If you stare at each drip, the process takes even longer. You can’t be an observer to your own drips. You just have to drip, and then, one day, someone else will bring the erosion to your attention, and you’ll say “Holy shit. Those drips actually fucking did something.” I can’t wait for that day to come, but the problem will be that day is only going to come after a lot of things go (such as my legs, memory, etc.). Of course, I can’t forget my lunch breaks (and I love to eat).
Of course, I want to marvel at the works of others. Learn from them; be inspired by them. In some ways, that means turning off the faucet. But, ultimately, it helps the goal. It slows down the process. Gives the process more steps. But, ultimately, it helps the process. It’s all part of the complicated process. Before you know it, there will be another change, and you’ll be better than you were before. At least, you will be if you don’t stop dripping.
As frustrated as I get at the amount of times I “quit” (or take a break); as frustrated as I get, I can tell when I’m dripping. I can tell when the faucet gets turned on a little bit more. I can see progress. It makes sense that the more you do something, the better you will get at it. But when you start, and you suck, it’s hard to see where, when, and how that progression is going to come.
I can see all of the visions in my head. But they can’t be done instantaneously. They can only be done with effort and experience, and only over a period of time. I’m finally able to accept that, instead of being frustrated at my inability to create good pieces of art instantaneously and just making the entire process harder on myself. I can only say the difference is experience and biology.
I literally have nothing to lose by having an optimistic attitude about my work. I wish more people would adopt that attitude for themselves (but mainly just so they’d leave me alone).
Even if I don’t succeed, the mental stimulation and spiritual satisfaction provided towards working on this goal, I truly believe, cannot be fulfilled by anything else. I don’t desire to have kids, so raising a child would not provide me with this level of fulfillment. I don’t believe any career other than the ones that I desire could. “Well, have you tried?”, you may ask. No, I haven’t. And I don’t plan to. All I plan to do is write and make people laugh at me. That’s it. That’s the challenge: getting paid to do these things. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than trying to make this happen, and I truly don’t want to find anything “more fulfilling” than this. Aside from my lack of financial success, this is already perfect for me.
There are always voices of doubt in my head. Many of them are related to voices I have heard in the past. But there are other voices that silence them, if only momentarily. And it is during those moments that the dripping begins. I’m in this for the long haul. My love for writing is never going to leave me. This means that I am going to be doing it for life, and, as such, it will have to improve. That’s encouraging, whatever my struggles are. And, currently, those struggles are pretty significant. Small steps. Drips.
I need to work harder on developing my own voice. I want my voice to drown out the voices of all others. “You’re going to drown!”, they yell from the shore. “You’re crazy! Why don’t you pick a different hobby? You’re wasting your time!” Do I want to listen to them? No, I don’t. I just want to write. I just want to make people laugh at me. And I want to make money. These are all I care about. No amount of “advice” is going to change this. All my eggs may be in one basket, but I’m imaginative enough to see the Easter Bunny in my head. And I like that thought.
And as far as how I fit in with “the market” in the long term, although you may say that my prospects are bleak, I’m going to hold out hope, if only because I feel like I, realistically, have no other purpose. Or, perhaps less “drastically”, that I don’t want any other purpose. Feel free to equate me with a child having a temper tantrum; I’d rather be a dreamer than a miserable “adult”. I’ll take that any day of the week, even if I get strange looks as I frolic with the Easter Bunny.