Tag Archives: Business

The Apparent Conflict Between “Practicality” and “Art”

I’m not sure if my best friend, Devin Stevens, wishes me to make this public or not. But I think I will, anyway. My best friend, Devin Stevens, has a habit of walking back and forth, talking to himself. It is interesting, and some might even say peculiar. I really only paid attention to it when trying to talk to him, only to be ignored. A boy lost in his own head. Consumed by his own thoughts. The outside world, be damned. How it has always been, how it will always be. No hard feelings, of course. But I did find it quite interesting.

And now, here I sit, these several years later. A post opened, writing down words. Struggling to find exactly how to say what I wish to say, and how I want to say it. So what do I do? Why, I pace back and forth, and start talking to myself, of course. Why? Well, as I paced back and forth, talking to myself, I realized something. What am I doing when I talk to myself, walking back and forth? Well, I’m thinking, and I’m communicating. I’m thinking, organizing, and communicating it back to myself. And what is writing? Writing is thinking and communicating. So, in other words, they are the same. Thoughts come out of nowhere, and then, the will acts upon them. The thoughts come, effort is put into them as far as organizing and developing are concerned, and the end goal is some conclusion. Some conclusion to the sequence of thoughts that have occurred. At that point, one can decide whether or not to communicate those ideas: in what form, to whom, and how. Then, the communicatee goes through the same process, and back and forth it goes.

So what is the point of communication? The point is whatever the communicators want it to be. In other words, why does anyone ever talk to anyone at all? Because they want to; have decided to, for whatever reason. And these reasons are varied. So why do I communicate? For various reasons. The main one being that I want to. And why do I want to? I do not know. I think thoughts, I like them, and I want other people to be aware of them. “Do you like them, too?” I suppose that’s the main point. “Do you like my thoughts, too? Do you enjoy them as much as I do? Because I’ve really enjoyed them. They’ve made me happy. Do they make you happy?”

I realize that this is humorous to say, but, of course, I am not the only person who thinks, and I am not the only person who communicates. Everyone does this. When people communicate with me, I listen, and think. And then, I communicate back. And there have been very few people who I have communicated with who enjoy writing as much as I do. The main one is my best friend. And I don’t think our love for writing and our friendship status are separable.

Most of the people I have communicated with have skills that I don’t have. They tell me that I should learn those skills, as they have, because it would be helpful. My natural instinct is just to pay someone else to do it. It’s easier. I do something else for money, and give you the money to fix my problem that I don’t want to learn how to fix. It’s understandable how blasphemous it is to someone who does “fix their own problems” (arguably, I am fixing mine by paying someone else to fix it for me). But I don’t think those people love writing as much as I do. I never hear them talk about stories that they wish to write. Or treatises. It never seems to come up. Not once. They might mention a book that they’ve read, that someone else has written. But they never say “Hey, I want to write a book.” I realize that people don’t live in a fantasy-land where they can do whatever they want when there is money that has to be made, things that must be fixed, food that must be obtained to be eaten, etc. But starving artists have always, and will always, balance between making the money that they need to make and doing what their heart really wants to do. And that is a very difficult struggle. Artists often choose their art over more money. Non-artists don’t really have to make that decision: they just pick the money, no questions asked. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Some people seem to have accepted that “it doesn’t matter” what their heart really wants. But how many of them are happy? And yet, they’d respond that their happiness doesn’t matter. I reject that philosophy from many fronts. I have a lot to say about it. I’ve written about it some, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it in the future. But I reject the way that basic truths are applied by “the public”. I disagree with the way “most people” seem to apply reality. I can’t really get into it all here. I think that it will be a “life’s work” that I work toward; explaining my philosophies.

So how do I talk to anyone when they do not desire to write much of anything (for various reasons), when I do desire to write fictional stories or “treatises”? That’s the hard part. Talk gets small, even if important. It never comes to what I love. (Why “should” it? Well, why should I listen to anyone talk about anything at all? Why should I listen to someone, even a friend or family member, talk about their children? Or their health? Or the health of someone else that they care about? Well, it is simple. They have decided to tell me these things because it matters to them. And I listen, because I am either their friend or family member, and that’s what friends and family members DO. So why should the conversation ever come to what I love: writing? Well, why should any conversation ever come to anything that ANYONE loves?)

I suppose it rarely gets to what they love, either. Other things take precedent over dreams. One has to be able to eat, after all. And there ain’t gonna be any food if there’s none grown or raised. But my will, my decision, is to write. That’s what matters to me on this planet. I may not know how to fix my own car, or my own plumbing. But who is going to write if I don’t? Mechanics and plumbers won’t be writing. If everyone was a mechanic or a plumber, there’d be no books. I want to create books for mechanics and plumbers and everyone else to read. That is important to me. I’m more than happy to pay someone else to fix my problems if that means I don’t have to spend the time and energy learning how to do them when I could be reading or writing instead (or Hell, even listening to music, or playing video games, or whatever else that I want to do). It’s worth it to me to pay that price.

But it’s honestly my fault that conversations that I am in never include my love for writing. Why? It is very simple. Because the very skill that I’m lacking is the very thing that I love to do. In other words, what I love to do is to communicate. But I’m not good enough at it yet to actually do it. So I can’t accurately communicate to others that what I love to do is to communicate. I struggle constantly with that. Of course, questions are begged: “What kind of communication?”, etc. And there’s a million different pieces of advice that I will not take. I will do communication in my own way; in a way which brings me happiness. And I can’t accurately explain why it is that I’m going to do that at the moment, and thus, the frustration continues. It never really truly ends.

Writing is very hard. There is no way around it. It’s hard and it will be hard until you finish it. And you can say “Thank God” when it is done. But getting anything done is just hard, and there’s no way around it. If you want it done, it’s going to be hard. And if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. So it is either “hard” or nothing at all. As is every area of life. And that’s why being alive is such a son-of-a-bitch situation to BE in.

Everything looks easy when someone else is doing it. But doing something for yourself will always show you how hard it really is to do. I’ve always enjoyed learning that for myself, because once I learn how hard something is to do, I don’t sit around, envious of others, saying “I could do that. Life isn’t fair.” I’ve had enough of that for one lifetime, and I’m done surrounding myself with people that think that way. “It’s not fair that person has muscles and I’m fat. Welp, let’s start eating right and exercising. Hey, I exercised for a week. That’s pretty good. Where are my results? What? You’re telling me I have to do this CONSTANTLY? And I’ve got to drastically alter my diet? Uhh…so my choices are to either drastically change my lifestyle and get the muscles, or keep my lifestyle and either stay envious that I don’t have muscles or just say ‘Fuck the muscles’? I think it’s time to move on.” I personally could not handle anymore envy than I had in my late teens. It was unbearable. Muscles and money, muscles and money. My envy of those with more money than me reached a breaking point, and that’s when I decided to learn what the fuck was going on. To me, my choices were to either “Rip everybody off like everybody else is doing who has a lot of money”, or be “A good person who will inevitably be poor”. I thought those were my only two options. And at that point, I broke. My life changed forever from that day. That was as low as I had been in a while, but things changed for me that day. I know it was a religious experience. Everything has been completely different since then. And I’ve never looked back.

I’ve made some philosophical life choices over the years. At one point, I chose to be nihilistic because I thought it was “cool”. The completely idiotic “split” between religion and science made me choose science because science made sense, and if religion said science was bullshit, then I knew religion was bullshit. But thinking that science had every answer known to man made me angry and depressed when it, inevitably, was given questions that it simply couldn’t answer. Something was missing. “Science” was not enough of a framework to me. Thinking of how to “scientifically” explain light waves every time you turn on a light bulb isn’t healthy. With one caveat. It isn’t healthy if you DON’T LIKE IT. That is what I finally realized, with some help from my best friend, Devin Stevens. Devin introduced me to some religious ideas that I had never considered before. And I pondered them, and pondered them. And the more he told me, the more things made sense. And my life has completely changed, for the better, because of him. Without a single doubt. My perspective on life has completely changed thanks to him.

My parents, of course, have also influenced me. My father always told me to get an education, so that I could have a better job than HE had. He told me this and told me this and told me this. “Don’t do what I did. Go to school.” And my mother always gave me the confidence that I could make my dreams a reality. The “unstoppable force” (very evidently my mother) and the “immovable object” (very evidently my father) made ME. I couldn’t imagine being anyone else. Their advice produced a lot of anxiety within me growing up. I didn’t know how I was going to “do better than them”. I wanted to, because they advised it, and I didn’t want to hate my job every day, as they did. I was desperate to avoid that lifestyle. But I had no idea what I was going to do. HOW I was going to do it. I looked to the “rich and famous“: what have they done? What do they do? They play basketball? They act? Let me try those. And it was a fantastic decision to try. Because of what I mentioned earlier. My envy quickly evaporated. And I needed to learn something that I could actually do.

I learned to read at a young age, and I read a lot to my parents. I’ve written some about my history with reading here. And, somehow, I’ve got a “knack” for writing as well. Probably got it from my parents. It got developed in school as well. I’m convinced that good readers can write. Hell, I can write, and I’m not even a good reader. But writers are thinkers. But I don’t think that is enough. Writers aren’t just thinkers: they are UNIQUE thinkers. Common ideas don’t need to be written, because they don’t need to be read. If everyone says the same thing all the time throughout their day in communication with one another, why would any of them ever take the time to write something? Or read something? It’d always be the same. So writers are unique. There has to be something unique about writers. Even if multiple writers write very similar things, there’s just something different about us writers. We’re just different. Unique. Strange. “A little off”. And that’s what makes us so great. That’s what makes us worth reading. We’ll come to you when we need our cars fixed, but maybe we can entertain you or teach you something while you’re shitting. When people do what they desire, and take action, things just seem to have a way of working out symbiotically. Years of studying economics has taught me that profound fact.

So I appreciate it when a friend or family member tries to give me advice. I may or may not know exactly what they know, but, at the very least, I’m sure their hearts are in the right place. But I know what my heart says. I know what I need to do. I don’t know exactly how it will play out, but no one does. No one who gives advice knows how everything will play out. So the question becomes: what should I do? That, I will figure out myself. And, right now, it is telling me to write. It is telling me that I need to learn a lot more when it comes to writing. It is telling me that I need a lot more confidence when it comes to writing. That I need to read more. That I need to be more assertive. That I need to write more often. That I need to dedicate more time and patience to writing. And it is telling me that I need to be by myself, walking around, back and forth, thinking of things. Because that will, inevitably, help me with my writing. And that is what I want.

I think you’re on to something, Devin. I don’t know if you realize it or not. But I truly believe you are on the right track. And I believe I’m going to follow in your footsteps. I can’t thank you enough. Good luck to you. And to all of my fellow artists. And Hell: even to the non-artists, too. Good luck to EVERYBODY.

The Process of Thinking.

Apparent.

A Treatise on Stubbornness.

Intellect Equals Cockiness?

Why Express?

Why Do I Write How I Write?

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing.

Conserv.

Personality Development.

Advertisements

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing

It’s time for me to take writing more seriously. I hate writing, because of the headache it gives me. How to begin a piece, elaborate on it, make it coherent, make the language better, more efficient, easier to read, and end it on a witty, snazzy note. The mere sight of a word processor makes me want to close it out. But yet, I still write. In some ways, I feel like my nature opposes writing. And truly, it does. I think a large part of this is my desire to be carefree, and relax (I can probably thank my father’s genes for that desire (it ain’t a bad desire to have, I might add)).

I can’t do that if I’m going to write.

I think this is why I have been avoiding this dreaded day for so long. I have started to become tired of my writing for various reasons, and I don’t think I’ve known how to fix the problems that I have with it. Perhaps (cringe), it is that I need to study literature more. Read more. I can hear my best friend when I hear my own internal voice. I really do need to read more to know what the fuck I’m doing when I decide to write. As much as I want to vomit at the thought of becoming an “avid reader” (because patience is not one of my strong suits, nor is feeling like I’m not productive (I don’t feel productive when I read fiction, although, for example, I am being productive when I read if reading helps me become a better writer)), reading is a great way to become a better writer. If I read people who are better writers than me (as if), I will become a better writer (impossible: I’m already the best). I know that, as a writer, there comes a point when I become tired of my writing. Or, rather, that there comes a point in time when I need to do something about the fact that I’m tired of my writing, as I’ve been sick of my writing for quite some time.

The problem is that there were (and probably still are) things I needed to say before I could get to the current point that I am now. Even though this sounds crazy to me, I feel like all of my writing is related in some way. Indeed, it may be as simple as this fact that I have overlooked until now: that it all comes from me.

But I have not been ready to commit to writing. Although it makes me cringe to write this, perhaps it was because I had nothing to say. There’s clearly a combination of factors that have prevented me from “getting sucked into the world of writing.” I feel like I have written about these a million times before. Part of the problem is that I’ve been focused too much on marketing instead of writing; caring more about the views than the pieces themselves. Now, that isn’t entirely true, because I don’t write simply for the numbers. But the numbers discourage me from writing.

I’m a typical victim of words just not coming out right from my head. Communication is a huge problem for me. I don’t care to practice it very often, for I’m content with being by myself (or I “talk to myself” in the form of creating things for my own enjoyment). From a creative standpoint, I only talk “to” other people as a seller. “These are the jokes I have”, “The insights I believe I have”, etc. I don’t particularly care for “back-and-forth”, getting to know readers and other writers, etc. And I personally think that because I don’t enjoy communicating, I’m not as good at it as I desire to be. Writing is the best way for me to practice getting better at communication. Why would I desire to communicate if I hate it, you may ask? I may have written this before, but writing is a desire that overwhelms me at times. Even the introvert has things to say after he stews on things a bit longer than most. But I don’t write as often as I feel like I want to deep down. And I believe that it is a fear of commitment to “getting sucked into the world of writing” (that was a joke. You see, the quotation marks exist because that’s the title of this piece- ok you got it).

Writing fiction makes me want to vomit. The initial process is the fun part: the “first draft” (I’m not quite sure how to label my writing, so I’ll go along with common vernacular that I’ve heard (or read) authors use). I’m very eager to share my works, even if my works aren’t very good (lol). Probably because I’m eager to get that “million dollar deal” that isn’t on the table. Probably a good deal to do with it. But I need that motivation to keep me going.

I suppose that I’m merely developing as a writer (something that I truly didn’t think was possible, oh, 4 ½ years ago now). My best friend, a fellow writer, always talked (and still does) about improving as a writer. When I heard that, I thought “How can I improve? I know I’m not the best, but I’m good enough.” (Good enough for what? My own standards, I suppose). But after 4 ½ years, the state of my writing (particularly fiction), as I said, makes me want to vomit. It’s a tangled web to unweave; a commitment that I haven’t been sure that I want to make or not. It’s not that I don’t love to write. I really, really do. But there’s aspects of writing that I don’t like. I like the initial idea that I come up with for a particular piece. And then, I write that idea down. And that’s typically where it ends. Very little editing (if any, because I haven’t wanted to “get sucked in the world of writing”). No revisions. Just “Hey, I like this thought. Write it down.” And done.

I’m not satisfied with that anymore. Currently, I think the biggest reason for this dissatisfaction is my boredom. I’ve got things to do, but I’m becoming bored of doing them. And I always start writing again when I’m at my most bored. When I enjoy doing something, I don’t want to do it so much that I lose my love for it. That is what I have always feared about writing: that if I do it more often, I’m not going to enjoy it as much when I do it. Is there too much of a good thing, in this case? I haven’t dared test it, just in case. For what would I replace this with? What could I do that would replace writing? It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing other things; but writing is very important to me. It has its own purpose. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why I write. And that bugs me. I enjoy being introspective. But am I really willing to spend the time and effort to figure out why I enjoy writing? ‘Tis a very daunting task. Perhaps it is just better to enjoy it and not question it. It remains to be seen for me. (Why Do I Write How I Write?)

I love non-fiction, and the possibilities for fiction are marvelous. But it’s the fiction that bugs me, because fiction is a lot harder to write for me. Perhaps it is because literally anything can happen. And the thought of selecting things, and organizing things into a good story irks me. I have countless notes in a word document that say “Write a story about __________ where ___________”. And then, I’ll open up the blank word document to start it, and that’s when it hits me. “Holy shit. This is a big commitment. This is a sanity commitment. A creative, insanity commitment. A commitment to language; developing it, organizing it, thinking about it (and thinking about it…and thinking about it……and thinking about it………………..). It’s terrifying to me, because I know that I will, much like my best friend (much love), become insane. I can see the insanity in my best friend. I worry for the poor boy. A man lost in countless fantastical worlds, that cause his hair to prematurely turn gray because of the stress from not getting everything read and written. I’ve desperately tried to avoid that fate for myself, but I’m afraid that the fates are drawing me ever closer to that dark hole of “literature”, and I beg for God to have mercy on my soul. But, then again, perhaps I’ll feel most alive right before my literary-induced spiritual death.

I truly do have to thank my best friend. His love for language, I know, will help me with my own writing problems. Clearly, he’s already influenced me, much like countless authors have influenced him. I’m beginning to understand his words more now: literature truly is a lifetime commitment. And I’m always terrified of committing to something for fear of missing out on something else. I think a big part of that is how I was raised. My mother always told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and my father encouraged me to “use my brain and not my brawn.” So my mind wandered, and I envisioned all the possible careers I could take. Most of them didn’t interest me (regardless of how unrealistic the prospects actually were). But I’ve tried to keep my mind open to the possibilities, which has, up to this point, resulted in me not committing to any one particular thing.

And the world of writing does terrify me. The patience required to read, the things that you are sacrificing while you read due to time constraints. It terrifies me to think of committing myself to writing more because of whatever else I may be missing out on. Now that I think of it, what is it that I’m really missing out on? Sleep? Laziness? Truly, those may be the biggest things; coming up with anything else is probably just an excuse. But writing terrifies me. You’ve got people critiquing your works, asking for clarification (and you better be able to provide it), and, in my opinion, the two worst things that can happen: a reader getting bored of your writing, or a reader never knowing of your works at all.

Maybe another reason that I haven’t “gotten sucked into the world of writing” up to this point in my life is that my brain just doesn’t think good. I’ve written a little bit about reading here (this has a lot to do with it). But maybe I don’t have a brain well-equipped for reading. It’s not that I’ve always hated reading. But I think for me, the problem now is that I know that my future hangs in the balance at this very moment, and I need to do everything within my power to be successful; and reading feels like an unproductive waste of time, if only because I’m not creating anything when I read (even if reading would help out future creations). And, once again, I’m lazy, so there’s that.

My brain craves excitement. I’m constantly looking for new things. And I get tired of reading the same thing for an extended period of time (including a piece that I’m working on while I edit, like this one, currently). I guess I’m naturally a different type of reader than “avid” readers or “real” readers. It seems as if many “readers” stick with one thing at a time until they finish it or until they can’t take it anymore due to it being “bad”. My threshold is much lower. Once again, it is because I am afraid of getting lost in fantastical worlds. I’m afraid of the commitment. Because I know that my life will forever change, and change scares me (lol). I am afraid of transforming into a “reader”. The life of a reader is a different world. I am afraid of the improvement I’m sure it would offer me. Why? Well, I’m sure that (depending on what I read), reading will make me smarter, and will make me “sound smarter”. And, ironically, I have found that the smarter you sound, the harder it is for people to understand you. Now, clearly, I realize this is unfair on my part (or, at least, I hope so). My life experience is very limited, and I’m basing this mainly on my childhood, where I was schooled with kids of all sorts of demeanor, intelligence, etc. My confidence was affected by my peers in school (and, at times, my family). Once again, I’ve always dumbed myself down, and, therefore, have not had much practice in “sounding smart”. Acting like an idiot has made people more friendly towards me, and that explains why I love stupid humor, and acting like an idiot so much. I’ve been working my whole life to come out of my expressionless shell. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, but I can’t accurately describe a measurement which would tell you how much further I have to go. Language truly is a full-time commitment. Scary.

Perhaps this is “bad” of me, but I don’t really care what you, the reader, think of my writing. Obviously, I care from a monetary standpoint. And, of course, I respect it when someone compliments my work. I’ll even read the criticisms, and determine whether or not I think they are valid (I think it’s about 50/50). It has been my experience that many people do not know what they are talking about: people that I have taken advice from in the past. I know this is “normal”. I know that “everyone goes through this”. But I don’t understand why you (I’m being presumptuous now, but with good reason (past experience)) feel compelled to tell me this fact simply because I’m stating that I’m one of the many people that are experiencing this. Why trivialize the experience of one by saying that many or all go through it? I think it’s a symptom of trying to be helpful, but not being very smart at being able to actually do it (I think that’s kind of a common, tragic theme that I’m learning (but slowly accepting) about humanity). Let’s just put it this way: it has been my past experience (many, many times) that when I spoke, the listener did not understand what I was saying. Perhaps they hadn’t considered it, and couldn’t relate. Of course, I could have elaborated on what I was saying. But when I did, I was just called a “smarty pants”, and then, they basically stopped listening. So honestly, that explains a lot of this. I stopped speaking because people weren’t willing to listen.

That’s pretty fucking depressing…

Welcome to my dark world. Lol

All I wanted was for someone to understand what I was saying without having to elaborate on it. In other words, someone to relate to. Sadly, those people were few and far between. I felt like they were more of a student than someone who could empathize with me. And that bugged me for many, many years. A large reason why I lost my voice.

From my childhood to my late teens, I felt crazy and self-conscious. I repressed my expressive desire, including what it was that I wanted to express. People either weren’t interested or didn’t understand what it was that I was trying to express (once again, it could’ve been my fault, but I was looking for a friend, not a student, as I said). Also, a lot of it was other kids just not liking my personality (still true to this day. Kids still hate me). I grew a desire to express myself comedically because when I was the clown, other kids laughed at me. They gave me attention. I acted like an idiot to amuse other people for social acceptance.

…That’s kind of fucked up and counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

However, the comedy grew not only as a way to try to fit in, but I truly believe it would’ve came out regardless of whether I was accepted or rejected by my youthful peers. Sarcasm; exhibitionist idiocy; humorous, creative associations between multiple things: I think all of these “funny” things (and other “funny” things) would’ve came out of me regardless.

Also, strangely enough, there is a sympathetic guilt on my part. My heart has always went out to those that I have felt were less fortunate than me. Currently, I think of those with language skills less developed than my own. Now, I’m not saying I’m a literary genius. But despite how meager my word skills may be, I pity those who are even less effective than I am at communicating. Like I said, I’ve always felt sympathetic for those that I feel are less fortunate than I, and I feel very fortunate to be able to communicate like I can. There’s tons of room for improvement, but I think I have a little “knack” for writing, and I pity those that don’t share that same knack. This pity has often made me feel guilty, which has contributed to my “not writing very good” situation. Dumbing myself down not only to be more sociable, but to be more “humble”. Independent gifts from God have always bugged me: probably due towards religious conditioning to “always be thankful”, directly contrasted (although immediately followed) by a message of fiery fear.

People don’t like it when you talk good. My desire to be readable contrasts with my intrinsic desire to be exact, thorough, and pertinent (I suppose that I am implying that you, the reader, are dumber than I. At least I offer a formal apology right now). I suppose time and practice will determine the balance between “readable” and “exactness” at any given time (perhaps an acceptance of a “readable = exactness” equation), but I’m really hoping I develop the confidence to be smarter in my writing. Once again, language truly is a full-time commitment. Still scary.

You, the readers, are a hindrance to me. I know that’s a bit harsh. But you, as people, by definition, contrast with my introverted nature (lol). My desire to be left alone, even though I want to write, and even though I want readers. This is probably a struggle that all creative introverts face. I know that when I write, you are free to comment, and tell me what you think. It’s not that I don’t respect criticism; it’s that I wish to be left alone. It’s not that I, as an introvert, do not desire communication. It’s that I just desire less communication than “normal”. Even the introvert has a voice. I’d like to think that I think a little bit before I speak, but I can recollect too many instances where this isn’t the case to shatter my own view of my humility.

The fact that I can’t figure out why I want to write hinders me from writing. Because I want to write about why I want to write. My brain can’t let things go, and I have to build upon previous thoughts to move on to something else. I truly believe that things that I write are connected, but I need the beginning blocks to get there. And that’s just another step towards getting sucked into the world of writing…

(Thank God I found my best friend when I did. He may have single-handedly saved my writing. If not for his persistence in the face of his own self-perceived limitations, I may not be writing this today, and may not have written some of the things in the future that I will write in the future).

All of these things keep me from writing. And, truly, I’m probably not ready to “jump right in” at the moment. As I said, I think I have a way of starting from the beginning from a personal analysis perspective, write about that, and then move on to the next phase of my own personal development. Because when I think of it, I truly don’t think that anything I’ve written up to this point is a waste of time. They all have a purpose, even if they are kind of shit. But boredom and restlessness create works, and make them better. A part of me wishes I was motivated to create without the boredom and restlessness driving me, but in another sense, I am content with my own personal reasons for writing when I write.

I will have to consult with my best friend about how to move forward, because he is the one that spends all his time doing this (within my small circle of people). I’m sure that reading will be a part of it; developing patience and the willpower to get lost in a book. Once again, I always fear what I’m missing out on, regardless of what I’m actually engaged in. I’m growing tired of this, however, and I need something that I can commit to. Sadly, I have a feeling this is going to include reading, writing, acting, filming, and comedy, and just thinking about how much work will be involved makes me want to, once again, close the word processor and go back to watching Youtube videos. But there’s also the side of me growing restless.

My best friend and I have talked about this before several times: eventually, you just become bored with what you’re doing. Everyone does. All creative people go through phases. They do something, then they change it up. This is my first small, slow step towards changing it up.

I can’t keep writing the same things over and over and over (or, at least, I want to work on not doing that).

Also, something that I consider that may (or may not) surprise you: what if I’m actually an idiot? I don’t think so, but past experience makes me doubt myself. And what of the writers that I think are intelligent, but are widely ignored or dismissed? How will I handle the thought of me writing things that are intelligent, but also widely ignored and dismissed? I suppose the simple answer is “practice makes perfect”, and I don’t know how I’ll react if I become as reviled and ignored as someone such as, say, Murray Rothbard (for you simpletons, I’m not comparing my writing to Rothbard, but am merely asking the question: what if I become as obscure and disrespected as he is? How would I handle that? That feels like the worst-case scenario for me as a writer, which is why I brought the example up).

Word choice, editing, and confidence will (obviously) be a big part of “getting sucked into the world of writing”. But the next big step is to figure out how to do it without becoming overwhelmed (and, thus, disinterested) in it all……

I think the key, for me, will be small steps.

I want more confidence in myself, and to be less concerned with what others have to say about my works. Contentment and bringing my creative visions to life (and a lot of money) are what I desire. I know that I will become more confident the more I practice. Now, it’s just finding the desire to treat this as a full-time endeavor (God forbid?). Once again, I have uncertainty regarding writing. How much do I want to do it? And when? Maybe that means I’m not a “real” writer. Maybe I’m just a poser. But I’m a poser with things to say, so I’d consider myself a writer, even if only part-time.

All I know is that I want to do it. I couldn’t say how, nor what, nor how much, exactly. Time will determine all of those answers.

Thank you for reading the thoughts of a bumbling idiot. I may or may not resume bumbling idiocy after intermittent messages similar or dissimilar to the ones you’ve just read here.

(There’s the witty, snazzy note I was praying that I’d end on, thank God. Oh yeah, and this one is as well. And this one).

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Personal Happiness as a Virtue

Humanity has an aversion to happiness, and I can’t figure it out. Conservatives tell you that holiness is more important than happiness (as sin can make one happy, and that leads to eternal damnation), and other people, generally unhappy, will tell you countless reasons as to why “There are more important things in life than being happy.” Taking care of your family, your job, etc. Any time you talk about happiness, what makes you happy, and how you plan on achieving it, a million people will give you a million reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Now, I’m not saying they shouldn’t. I’m not saying many of them do not bring up valid points. But the argument that happiness shouldn’t be the ultimate goal is, quite frankly, just wrong. I will go to my grave believing that we exist to be happy. I’m not saying we always will be happy. But we exist to attempt to maximize our happiness. We do things in an attempt to be “happy”. All action we take is an attempt to satiate some desire, whether it be to not be hungry, to not be bored, etc. And we desire to be full, to be entertained, etc., not only to live, but to be happy, as one who is depressed cares not for these things, but only to die, as one believes that will finally be an end to the sadness they feel (which, it should be clear, is the antithesis of happiness; so they are attempting to be happier than they are currently).

Everything we do on a regular basis is an attempt to bring us joy, even if only relative to a current state of being (for example, but by no means the only one, a “coping mechanism”).

We don’t exist to serve God if it makes us miserable (I explain my position on the relationship between religion and happiness later in this piece); we don’t exist to have a family if the thought of having kids makes us want to kill ourselves (if we don’t want to have a family, but do anyway, perhaps we’ll change our mind and care for the kids. But what if we don’t? What if we resent our children, and only create miserable kids and shitty adults? Is that the reason for our existence? Of course not); we don’t exist to be rich if we can never figure out how to obtain it. The only thing that makes sense is happiness. There is no other satisfactory reason why we act. We act to satiate desires. And we desire because…well, we just DO. We exist, we desire, and we act. This is what we do, every single day, for our entire lives. We act to satiate desires, and we desire to be happy above all else. I do not think this is deniable. What does one want besides being happy? And what answers could you provide that aren’t ultimately an attempt to make the one trying to achieve them happy? What could one possibly do that isn’t an attempt to satisfy some unmet desire, which would make one more content than they were before, i.e., happy?

Hell, even family is not a more important value than being happy. I’m not saying that families will always get along, or that they’ll always tell you what you want to hear. But if your family doesn’t make you happy more often than not, then FUCKING DITCH THEM (thankfully, I’m not in that position). If your family abuses you, then you don’t need your family. You may wish that they were “normal”, because you want to have them in your life to have a “happy family”, but just because you are related to someone doesn’t mean you need to keep them in your life if they make you miserable. If they abuse you, ditch them if you can. Your mental health is more important than some moralistic (perhaps religious) duty to family. It will then become your choice to figure out what you think will make you the most happy, and then go for it.

Every person has individual things that make them happy. And the point of life is to do those things as much as possible. “I’m unhappy at my job, Cody. Should I quit?” Obviously, you think that the job that you have will provide you better with what you want and need than would be the case without the job, as evidenced by the fact you are still working there. I’m not saying life is a perfect paradise, whereby we’re always perfectly happy. But all human action is an attempt to satiate desires, as stated so eloquently by Mises in “Human Action”, and although a satiated desire may not ultimately make one happy, one takes action in an attempt to be more happy than one currently is. For what does one do when one is happy? If you are happy with how much money you have, and are happy with the items that you have, are you going to earn, or spend? If you eat all of your food, you are not going to try to get more until you are hungry. And if being hungry bothers you, you will eat. If it doesn’t, then you won’t. The point is that contentment gives you no reason to act. And you will not act unless you believe that you will benefit from the action in some way; i.e., that the action will make you “happier” than you were before, with “happiness” being no longer hungry, bored, etc.

Let’s talk about some “vices” for a second. There’s a counterargument that life is more important than being happy: that living longer is more important than being happy (which is quite odd, when you think about it). What do I mean by this? Just take a look at the “healthy crowd”. People who are very conscientious of their health are quick to tell others to give up junk food, smoking, drinking, etc. Of course, it is perfectly plausible (and, in fact, likely) that these “health nuts” are happy with their lifestyle; and, indeed, are happier than they would be without it. I don’t doubt that for a second. However, although it is generally accepted that most people would rather live longer than shorter, it is clear that “health” and “a long life” is not the main concern with many individuals (as judged by the actions they take). Many people eat unhealthy, or smoke, or drink to excess, and although there are many of those who do those things and are distraught by them, and either eventually quit or try to quit with help from others, there are many who don’t. Many people don’t care about the consequences. Maybe they don’t fully recognize them. Or maybe it actually is worth it to them (an absolute possibility). The point is that not all go the “health route”, and it isn’t because these humans are broken. It is because each individual has his or her own “value scale” (credit to Murray Rothbard in “Man, Economy, and State” for the term), whereby certain things make them happier than others, and they act upon these intrinsic, personal values. And if they’re happy, the best you can do is tell them what it’s doing to them, and that you wish for them to live longer rather than shorter, and then, their action is out of your hands. They will either take your advice or not, and that is that. A “long life” is not an ultimate value to be held in higher regard than the individual happiness of people living their own lives: to suggest otherwise, even if it does make people live longer, is, ironically, inhumane.

Yeah yeah yeah, you can eat unhealthy, face the health consequences when you’re older, and say “Shit. I wish I would’ve taken care of myself.” But is that the path that all should take? As I said, to many, it seems as if taking care of your health should be the “ultimate” life goal. Even if smoking, or drinking, or eating fast food makes people happy, what they should care about is being healthy. But what kind of fucking life is it to live long if you’re unhappy? Who wants to live a long, unhappy life? Of course, “Maybe if you tried running”, “Maybe if you tried this or that”, you say. But what if it doesn’t provide these individuals with the same feeling it provides you? What if they hate running, hate taking care of themselves, where you actually do care about taking care of yourself? Are these individuals “broken”? I certainly don’t think so. They have different values, and because they aren’t violating anyone else’s human rights, they have the right to live how they desire. You can put out as many PSAs you want about smoking and fast food, but if the people continue to smoke and eat at McDonald’s, then you can either continue with the PSAs or give up; whichever one you decide will satiate your personal desire the most. And, of course, the question is begged: “What if you smoked a cigarette? What if you tried a cheeseburger? If you didn’t try the first one, maybe you’ll like the second one.”

Of course, loved ones can be concerned, and try to convince you to stop. But the point is that a long life is not a more important value than happiness. This should be evident. How many of you have had an elderly family member who was dying, and ready to depart? Of course, you want them to stay because you love them, and you don’t want to lose them. But can you blame them for wanting to leave? Why do they want to die? Why are they ready to go? Obviously, they believe they will be happier dead than alive. Think I’m wrong? What other reason would one have for “letting go”? You go when you go, and, inevitably, it’s beyond your control. But who wants to die if they believe that whatever is after is worse than what they are experiencing currently? NO ONE. (Unless they somehow believe that what is worse will make them happier than they are currently, which is unlikely, although still possible, as I know how religious conservatives act on this Earth, where they try to “torture themselves for happiness” (or, rather, torture themselves and try to convince themselves that they are happy, perhaps due to a fear of going to Hell), etc.).

Being rich is not a more important value than being happy. Money for its own sake does nothing if it doesn’t make you happy. Wealth only matters if you believe that it helps you. If it doesn’t, then you will do something that you believe makes you happier with it. Perhaps it makes you happier to save it rather than to spend; to spend rather than to save; or give to others rather than to spend for oneself. But the point is that money does nothing for one if one is not able to obtain some sense of happiness from it. (They say that money can’t buy happiness, but I think that depends. Certainly, there are those that become wealthy, and either become more miserable or stay in the same state of misery they were before (assuming they were miserable beforehand). But, obviously, not everyone who becomes wealthy becomes unhappy because of it. To many, the money does make them happy, for various reasons, some of which may be the ones I mentioned above).

So why do I say that happiness is a virtue? For one, it is a reality that all humans attempt to achieve happiness. We all want to be happy. It’s probably harder for some to be happy than others. But that’s still the goal. That’s what we really want. We may not be able to control the death of a loved one, or a natural disaster, or a cancer diagnosis; Hell, we can’t always make ourselves happy constantly. But yet, that’s still what we strive for. We still try to make ourselves happy, through individualistic, diverse means. And if going to Heaven after you die is such a great paradise, and going to Hell after you die is a great torment, then I have to suppose that God actually cares about our happiness as humans (if He actually wants us to come to Christ, go to Heaven, and avoid Hell), and doesn’t want us to suffer (I mean, He created us in a fucking paradise, for Christ’s sake (no pun intended- that’s a lie)). I know that answer doesn’t satisfy atheists, but I’ll try to address that in a future piece.

The idea that God wants us to suffer, especially as a means to get into Heaven, is ludicrous. God did say that suffering was inevitable as a result of the Fall of Man. But He clearly didn’t want us to suffer, because He told us to not do what would cause that suffering in the first place. So clearly He cared. Of course, why He put the Tree there in the first place is a mystery, and it could be argued that He doomed at least some of us to failure; why even put the Tree there in the first place if He knew we were going to eat from it? That means that even before He created the world, He knew He was going to punish some percentage of the people that He would ultimately create. Why would He do that? “To make His justice known” seems to be the answer, and it could be argued that humans were just “caught up in the middle of it”. But, of course, we are sinners, so there is clearly guilt on our part. But why were we ever even given a chance to suffer? Why was that even created? In other words, what is the origin of sin? Why not a perfect paradise with no Tree? Indeed, why even exist on Earth at all, and not be created directly into Heaven? Of course, that begs the question: why even be created at all? And, of course, why did sin ever exist? Why were we able to do it? These are the questions I’m going to have to ask Him after I die, if I can. Perhaps they’ll be immediately revealed to me after I die. Only after I die will I know for sure.

There are those of you that will tell me not to ask those questions. There are those of you that will say that I’m wasting my time, asking questions that, more than likely, I’ll never know the answer to. Some of you may say that I’m treading on thin ice around God, and that if I keep it up, the Earth is going to open up, and I’m going to be swallowed by it, forever burning. And, although I do accept that not everyone will ask questions of God like I do, and will have different opinions about the “meaning of life”, I have to ask those so-called Christians, who question my desire to ask the Almighty intimate questions: if God loves me, and sent His Son to die for my sins, and He cares for me, why would He not care about my deepest concerns? Why wouldn’t He care about my doubts and my questions? Why wouldn’t He care about my problems with Christianity? If God didn’t care about me, I’m sure He’d say what YOU say: “Stop asking those foolish questions, boy. Don’t doubt me.” And yet, I haven’t been thrust down into the eternal burning chasm yet. Perhaps He’ll throw me in there tomorrow (I doubt it (wait…isn’t doubt a “triggering” word?)). But I bet He won’t. Perhaps He could help me accept those things that I can’t understand. Perhaps I’ll have a heart attack tomorrow. Anything is possible; only the Almighty knows for certain. But, the best that I can figure, there is no greater goal to work for on this Earth than happiness.

To continue: We were put on this earth as individuals, and the natural individuality of all human beings just so happened to also be diverse. Therefore, there is no universal blueprint. There is no universal blueprint to obtain “happiness”. There are only individuals with desires, a framework known as “reality” (more specifically called “science“; or, at least, “truth“), and individual means used in attempts to obtain individual ends. Then, “success” or “failure” is measured by each individual actor.

Someone might say “But Cody, what if raping people makes you happy? What if killing people makes you happy?” For one, I would argue that one isn’t really happy if they rape or kill. I know that sounds odd to many. But I think that people who do those things are so far removed from humanity that “happiness” is not an emotion that they can actually feel: much like love. You may say that they “love” to rape and kill. And it would be hard for me to argue against that. But I think it consumes them more so than providing them any sense of joy. They may not be tortured, but they’re just lost. They can’t feel, so they just destroy. I know that’s not a good answer to many, and I understand the argument that they do enjoy their vicious natures. But I think, ultimately, they are tormented by them. They are experiencing Hell on Earth, and they’re sharing that Hell upon others (I suppose that means that I believe that a feeling of “Hell” is diverse and individualistic as well. I can’t provide as much evidence for that, however. But I know that the phrase “personal Hell” has been a common part of humanity’s lexicon (for exactly how long, I couldn’t say), and I wouldn’t be surprised if that applies intimately to each individual on Earth and also in Hell).

And what about love? Clearly, our family members, romantic partners, and friends don’t always make us perfectly happy. Children infuriate their parents, vice versa, and the same for romantic partners, and even friends. Clearly, the people in these relationships are not happy while this is going on. But yet, they still love their family and friends. Why? Because that love brings them some sense of joy. Love does not, and cannot, exist without joy. Joy is the connecting factor in the giving and receiving of love: if one did not enjoy the giving or receiving of love, then one would do neither. Despite all of the heartbreaks, and despite relationships that fail, love cannot exist without joy. Love is pointless without joy. If love was simply a connection to another individual who always hurt you, and never provided you with any joy whatsoever, then the purpose of loving anyone at all would be lost.

I’ll deal with the religious aspect of “happiness” and “duty” later (I’ve written a little about it here), but, as Martin Luther wrote in 1530: “Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.”

To conclude, life without happiness is not worth living. Indeed, you’d hear something similar from those who killed themselves right before they died. Happiness is often seen as the antithesis of sadness, and it’s easy to see why: those who are happy want to live, and those who are sad want to die (of course, it exists on a spectrum). There are other emotions, such as anger, and anger can be a motivating cause for constructive action, or destructive action, so the happy-sad dichotomy is not perfect. But, I believe that the facts that happiness is the most pleasant emotion that we can experience, the information I have presented about Christianity, where I believe that God actually does care for our happiness, and the couple of examples I gave of possible arguments against my position are at least enough to get you to consider what I have said for yourself, and perhaps even enlighten you. At least I have stated my honest opinion about this subject, which was my purpose.

(You REALLY don’t want to know how excruciating this was to organize. I know this is a sign of things to come with my writing, and I want to fucking vomit as a result).

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Individualism Epistemology.

A Memorandum on Dreams.

Personality Development.

On Boredom

I decided to write this article on a day when, no surprise, I was bored. To remedy this problem, I decided to drive to McDonald’s: my deadly way of typically dealing with boredom (not only is eating when you are bored deadly; but eating at McDonald’s? Premature death, here I come). I debated it briefly, as I know how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And I had already eaten there the day prior. But, after a few minutes, I decided to, anyway, and left the house full of guilt.

On my way home, I contemplated my boredom. I remembered that, throughout most of my teenage years, I experienced extreme boredom, with little stimuli to remedy it. Boredom led me to start writing again after many years, back in 2012. But there are some complicated things that arose in me on that way home from McDonald’s, and I’m going to attempt to write them all out here.

After I remembered how bored I used to be, I thought of all of the different things that I am able to do today. Particularly, I enjoy writing, making Youtube videos, and writing jokes. That’s what I enjoy doing, and I dream of making money at all of these someday. But then I realized that, for some reason, I get bogged down with these things. Not bored, but just…unmotivated. Why is it that I’m not working on what I like to do? And the answer was the amount of work involved.

I come up with ideas, but rarely complete them. Coming up with a good idea is the easy part, but I’m always so unmotivated to complete them. And I don’t know why. It’s some kind of commitment issue. I realize that at the rate at which I come up with ideas, to complete them all, and as well as I would like to, would require a fulltime, life commitment to these projects. And I have always been terrified of spending too much time on one thing to the detriment of doing other things. I feel like that was taught to me at some point (and conservatism prevented me from dedicating my time to anything other than God, and that’s probably a huge part of it as well). But I’m in a constant state of boredom, and, typically, I have to rely on myself to get myself out if it. I am a consumer of the works of others, but no one can entertain me like me.

I already wrote an article about my laziness, but my laziness causes a conflict with my boredom. I said in that piece that I typically create things when I’m at my most bored. And I’ve stated that a main reason for my creativity is to entertain myself. But, I believe I’ve said before, something is missing. My work ethic and time commitment to my projects is lacking. Part of this is I like relaxing, having fun, and consuming the works of others (as long as they entertain me). But sometimes, the well runs dry, and I need to do something for myself. But I’m lazy about my work. My ideas require a lot of skills that I currently don’t have, and that’s what is most frustrating about this. I work on the simple things, which are fine. But the really good stuff is the stuff you put more work into. But that would require me knowing how to use my software editing program more than I do, which means I need to learn it, and it aggravates me to have to learn certain things that I don’t already know. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it pisses me off to be stupid, so I remain in ignorance to somehow pout? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m too lazy to learn how to do it to the level that I need to create what I want to create. But I think there’s something more to it as well.

I think a great deal of it goes back to my own personal history with religious conservatism. For some reason, I have always seen working towards a goal as something to be avoided. I think it has to do with being taught that I should focus more on Heavenly rewards, and not Earthly ones. I think I have trained myself, over the years, to hate “Earthly” rewards. And if working is what gets you those Earthly rewards, then I don’t need to work. It sounds stupid now, but I really believe that I have trained myself to do this over the years. And when I finally realized that I needed a job so that I could have money so that I could have a car, etc., I started studying economics to give myself a perspective about money that wasn’t the religious one that I had developed prior. Although I’m naturally a lazy person, religious conservatism taught me to hate working for goals (unless those goals were religiously-oriented). But now, I have so many different things that I want to do, and I need to find a way to get over this pious hump.

I realize to many people, all of this “religious conservatism” talk is gobbledy-gook. And, for your sake, that’s probably a good thing. You don’t want to be able to intimately relate to my words about religious conservatism, because all they do is stunt you, and make you feel like shit. So you aren’t fucking missing out on anything. Consider yourself blessed.

So I have this bias against completing goals. Like I said, if the goal wasn’t “God-oriented”, then it was sinful, worldly, and should be hated and condemned. I don’t believe that today, but the problem is that emotionally, I’m still stuck back in those old days. It’s similar to knowing that McDonald’s will kill me, but eating it anyway. And hating myself for it afterward. Something has to click for me to stop eating at McDonald’s. Maybe it’s a heart attack. Maybe it’s actually learning about how the body works, and ignoring my religious history with the body and medicine, which, for some stupid reason, was me repeating stupid phrases about God in an echo chamber within my head instead of intently paying attention to the body, how it works, and how to take care of it when I first learned about these things as a child. Seriously, anything “worldly” I ignored. I know that’s fucking stupid. And I know not everyone can relate to that. But fucking welcome to religious conservatism; welcome to the fear of God.

So now, I sit. Full of ideas. Videos that make me laugh, things to write. But I don’t fucking do them. Because it involves sitting and thinking; starting, elaborating, and completing. The biggest hurdle I have, in my opinion, is the religious conservative hurdle. Once again, I know not everyone can understand this. But the idea of putting so much time, energy, and passion into a project triggers my old “that’s a sin” reflex, and I have to train myself to stop doing that. Because nothing is getting done. It’s so fucking stupid. And disastrous. And I hate the conservatives that put those thoughts into my head. (Hell: maybe they were my own brand-spanking new shit ideas. I don’t know). But I have got to find a way to dedicate more time and energy into my works. I’ve got to find a way to organize all of this shit, ignore the previous religious fear, and dedicate all of the time that I want to into my works. It will typically occur when I am the most bored, but I’m tired of only skimming the surface with my work. I know I have the potential to create more work at a faster pace, and create more meaningful work. Better work. I know it’s in me. And it’s going to take a lot of work to get it out of me. But I fucking want it. And I need to find my own, healthy perspective about my work, so that I have goals in mind, and can work towards them. This is going to take some time, as unraveling prior shitty thoughts is always hard (I think of poor people raised in an Islamic world, and realize that they have, perhaps, a harder time than anyone unraveling the shit taught to them, as they are taught violence to a degree unlike anyone else in the world: absolutely senseless, deplorable violence). But I want to dedicate my life to writing, and comedy. I really do. Of course, 10 years from now, I could change my mind. But right now, all I want to do is write, and make myself laugh. That’s it. And I’m fucking tired of not doing it.

As I have always said, I need more practice sitting, thinking, organizing, and I need to find a way to dedicate myself to all of this full time, so I can get it all done, and so I can stop being so fucking bored and miserable all of the time, because this is the shit that makes me happy.

I don’t have anything to add about getting paid for all of this garbage at the moment. Although, I think there is a part of me that gets discouraged that my work is not as popular as is my goal to make it (only for financial purposes), and that prevents me from working as fast or as hard. But that’s a topic for another piece.

I’ve got a whole life of work ahead of me, and I need to figure out how to actually fucking do it……

Insightful.

McDonald’s?

More McDonald’s?

Murray Rothbard on libel and slander.

From “The Ethics of Liberty“:

“Smith has a property right to the ideas or opinions in his own head; he also has a property right to print anything he wants and disseminate it. He has a property right to say that Jones is a ‘thief’ even if he knows it to be false, and to print and sell that statement.

“The counter-view, and the current basis for holding libel and slander (especially of false statements) to be illegal is that every man has a ‘property right’ in his own reputation, that Smith’s falsehoods damage that reputation, and that therefore Smith’s libels are invasions of Jones’s property right in his reputation and should be illegal.

“Yet, again, on closer analysis this is a fallacious view. For everyone, as we have stated, owns his own body; he has a property right in his own head and person. But since every man owns his own mind, he cannot therefore own the minds of anyone else. And yet Jones’s ‘reputation’ is neither a physical entity nor is it something contained within or on his own person. Jones’s ‘reputation’ is purely a function of the subjective attitudes and beliefs about him contained in the minds of other people. But since these are beliefs in the minds of others, Jones can in no way legitimately own or control them. Jones can have no property right in the beliefs and minds of other people.”

Murray Rothbard.

More Murray Rothbard.

A Labor of Love

One of the greatest (if not the greatest) things about being human is the ability to love.

Full disclaimer: at the time of this writing, I am a happily single man.

So, I am not here to discuss romantic love, nor of friendship, nor of the still yet different type of love that comes with family.

Not sexual passion, but passion regarding occurrences that aren’t quite relationships.

Feeling is what it means to be alive; one that does not feel is not alive, but is merely living.

The difference between the two is as evidenced as the fucked-up nose on Michael Jackson’s face at the end of his life.

If it were not for happiness, life would not be worth living.

This is most evidenced by people who are depressed, or who have “completed” their depression by killing themselves, and who leave a note that says, in different ways, that “life isn’t worth living anymore.”

So “feeling good” is why we live; it may not be why humanity was created (or evolved; I mean this in no controversial “religion vs. science” debate), but it is why we don’t all go kill ourselves at any given moment: we don’t want to, and we don’t want to because of our feelings: because we’re happy enough not to.

Feelings are why we live, and why we do things. They are why we propose, why we kill, and, indeed, why we take any action at all. To be human is to act upon feelings. This doesn’t mean that one acts upon all feelings that one has, but rather that all actions (including an apparent lack of action) are determined by feelings. This does not mean that we do not take calculated risks. Humans are also capable of grasping reality (to differing degrees), and often, our desires conflict with realities. We wish for this, but reality says this. This does not mean that we do what we initially desired all of the time. But, our desires are still at play here behind our decisions, for at the root of every decision is a desired result. The ultimate desire may be to be able to eat whatever one wants without suffering health problems. But scientific reality will determine whether or not one is fortunate enough to do such. However, if the reality does not allow one to do such, then the individual may either continue believing that he can do such, and do it to the detriment of his health in what sane people refer to as “insanity” (obviously not because he is unhealthy, but because he believes it to not be doing what it is actually doing), or he can compromise. However, he will still be acting towards a desire. If he desires better health, he will have to compromise on his eating habits. If he desires to continue eating unhealthy, then he will more than likely have to compromise with the length of time that he lives, and either recognize that and accept it before he dies, or continue living believing that he can live for a “long” period of time (but, ultimately, this is less likely to be the case, so it is still, ultimately, a “compromise”). For better or worse, we are creatures of passion, and we are creatures capable of action, and we are creatures whose actions are determined by said passions (with the source of said passions, no doubt, being discussion of a good debate (free will vs. determinism, no doubt)).

With that being said, what is it that makes us feel? The best answer that I can come up with (and one that I think many other people can and have came up with as well) is that it is simply our nature. Nature is simply that which “is”, whether or not that “is” was created for this reason or for that reason (whether life exists because God wants it to be that way, or because it was all just a random, happy coincidence). Nature is simply all that life is; there is no existence which is opposite to nature. This doesn’t mean just trees and animals, but rather anything which can be objectively perceived by the human mind (fundamental laws of physical phenomena, etc.). The fact that humans feel is another one of these undeniable truths, such as the “laws” of motion, and that we all must die someday.

I hope that a day never goes by that I don’t stand back and marvel at the fact that we, as humans, have comprehension abilities. Indeed, it is our ability to comprehend that gives our lives meaning at all. It is “natural” that human beings are creatures capable of learning, and indeed, it is inconceivable to imagine a world where man was not able to understand anything. Even those widely regarded as fools understand something. It is the greatest gift that has been bestowed upon mankind, for I cannot imagine a world where no one was able to understand anything. The fact that man (even if a relatively small number of human beings) can understand things so seemingly random (but yet obviously patterned) as hydrodynamics (I’d love to be able to completely understand the beautiful patterns that water can create simply due to its nature and the natures of whatever force causes said water to move in the first place), and other technical fields of scientific inquiry is simply a marvel. But not only are some select humans capable of understanding the natural world: there are people who are able to take said knowledge and apply it practically to better “the common man”.

But, as I said before, humans are feeling creatures. Sometimes, those feelings are destructive. But, I would argue, most of the time, they aren’t. It’s just that the brief occurrences of destruction are so horrific that it feels like we are more destructive as a species than we are constructive. I don’t personally believe that, but I do concede there is a great amount of man-made horror in the world; traditionally unspeakable horror…

In addition to humans being feeling creatures, humans are also diverse from one another. What is it that categorizes one as being “human”? Typically, references to being able to feel love are given. To be able to “love thy fellow man.” That the ability to love is the shared bond between us all as humans, and that is what makes us human (at least according to one view). But, for one, animals can feel love. Anyone with a dog that isn’t an asshole can see this. Is it as deep as human love? I don’t think so. But you’d have to define what it is about human love that makes us human, and be able to distinguish that from animal love, and I’m currently unable to do that, so I prefer a different definition as to what makes one “human”. And secondly, what of the psychopath? Is he still not technically human, even if inhumane? I would argue: of course he is.

Humans are born as independent creatures, capable of exercising their wills. From a religiously existential point of view, I don’t think we have free will. I do not think that we have free will from a sovereign God, but that does pose some interesting questions about the Fall of Man that I am unable to answer. Nonetheless, I don’t think we really have it at all. I’ll also leave that opinion for another topic and leave you, the reader, to personally crucify it. But it is inarguable that humans do have wills, and each individual human will is free and separate from the human wills of others, unless a crime against humanity is being committed. Our will is not free to change the scientific laws of the universe, nor to create the nature of God. It exists within a limited scope, where we, as humans, are born with desires, and make decisions. This, in my opinion, is what it means to be human.

So how would I, personally, explain to you, the reader, my opinions on my own personal humanity? What is it that I love to do? What is it that my will desires? What actions do I take that lead me to believe I will achieve certain results? You must be curious, seeing as how you are reading this. And I will attempt to answer this, but it will necessitate me to be extremely honest with myself, and I think that will be incredibly difficult for me to do at this point in my life. But I shall attempt it nonetheless!

Why do I desire to write? Well, when do I want to write? Typically, it involves the idea. Although I do enjoy the physical act of typing from an aesthetic sense, writing involves ideas. So my ideas are why I desire to write. I have ideas that I believe are meaningful, or significant, on some existential sense; and, indeed, often I feel as if I exist on this planet to write. Writing can be an incredibly painful process to me, but it can also be as natural and flowing as the most pristine river.

Typically, writing occurs very slowly for me. I have gigantic ideas in my head that I would love to write down, but the mental exhaustion is, often, too much. “What, are you writing ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’?”, you may be asking yourself. Well…maybe. The ideas in my head surrounding the writing that I feel the most serious about are often, in my opinion, big ideas. And, quite often, just the mere act of beginning the task exhausts me. Even as I write this paragraph, which is months and months apart from the beginning paragraphs that you have read, exhausts me. Perhaps I am an idiot, and this meager exercise of thought producing such exhaustion from me proves that. I’ll just leave that up to you, the reader, to decide. And if you will be so kind, please don’t tell me what you conclude.

I really don’t know how to gauge myself as a writer. “Why would you want to do that?”, you may ask yourself. Well, I just don’t want to be a shitty writer. I desire to write well. I want to write profound things, do interesting, intelligent things with language. Indeed, I think this is a large part of any (if not, at least, many) writer’s desires. It’s who I am, and it makes me happy. My soul is involved in writing. It isn’t as if I’m writing “an important piece” of writing every single day, but I wait for those moments when I cannot contain myself any longer, and the words just have to flow out. Sitting at a computer screen, struggling for the right word, is not writing to me. That’s fucking torture. That’s horrific. That is not an enjoyable experience to me, and, at least for me, that is not writing.

Writing is that idea that has been sitting in your head for seven months, which has about 15 million things you want to include, but you have no idea how to begin the piece, for fear of not being “inclusive” enough: meaning, not starting in the right spot. Sure, you could start your piece with some bullshit. But what in the fuck are you trying to say? Where you start is a large part of where you end up, and, after it is all done, you have what you have said. And if you want to say something, it’s important that you know where to start. And that’s where I struggle: right at the fucking beginning…

I’m not (necessarily) in a hurry to write. I’m in a hurry to make money. I’m in a hurry to find a career that I enjoy. But I’m not in a hurry to write. It will come when it comes. And I accept this. I do not feel in control of my writing: it fucking controls me, for better or worse. It always has, and it always will. It’s a compulsion: it just fucking comes out, and if I don’t get it down, I feel sick. Nauseous. Something about not getting that “good idea” down on paper makes me nauseous. Something about not bringing that “good idea” to life just makes me sick. I don’t know why. It sounds stupid when I say it. But still yet, if there’s any possibility that I think something is a “good idea”, I will regret it if I don’t at least make note of it. Which is why I have many word documents started with only a title, and nothing else written…

I really hate the way that I write…

Sometimes, I wish that I wrote more often. But I know that if I tried to force myself to write more often, the quality would not be as good. I would lose interest, and then I would, eventually, stop writing anyway. And I’m ok with this. I accept this. It’s a slow process, and that’s frustrating. But I accept it. I know how I believe I get my best work, and I’m happy with that. And that’s good enough for me, even if no one else can stand my writing, for whatever reason(s).

I love the moments when the writing hits me like a lightning bolt. Indeed, those are the only times that the writing occurs. And I know how “professional” writers scoff at that. But I don’t care. My writing is the way that I want it to be, and this includes the process. If this makes me an “entitled brat” or “baby”, then at least I actually enjoy what I’m doing. And that’s all I care about.

I really do wish that I could finish everything that I have started. But I just feel listless, and uninspired, most of the time. Perhaps it’s just laziness, and if it is, I accept that as well. Once again, I don’t want to work hard if I’m not going to enjoy what I’m doing, and I don’t think that I would. But it is discouraging to know that, in the back of your mind, you have so many projects unfinished, and you know their potential, and how much happiness they would bring you if completed. But you still wait, because the time isn’t right. Something isn’t right, and you can’t quite put your finger on it…Once again, it’s probably just that you’re lazy. Accept that.

Now, I suppose I will talk about my dreaded reader (ugh). To be honest, I fucking hate readers of my work. That means I hate YOU. Why do I hate you? What did you ever to do me? Well, let me tell you. First off, you’re going to have an opinion about my work. And I don’t fucking care about that. Hate is enjoyable, and produces laughter, as I write for myself; and hate is inconsequential. But, even as I say that, hate produces self-doubt. How is that? you may ask. If I don’t care, why would you produce self-doubt on my part? That’s a good fucking question. And I don’t fucking know. Yet another reason why I hate you, the reader. And you know what else I hate about you? COMPLIMENTS. Just, don’t. Please don’t. What in the fuck am I supposed to do with it? “That’s good.” Uh…ok? You going to give me money or something? Like (my particular usage of the word “like” right here shows my youth (and my language retardation)), if I’m not getting paid, I don’t care. Because I don’t fucking know what to do with it. I don’t know what to do with it, I don’t know why I don’t know what to do with it, and I don’t care to know why I don’t know what to do with it. It’s just an annoying fucking mess, and I hate all of it. And all of you (lol).

I’m just a writer, and that’s why I write. That’s it. I have stuff that I want to say, I say it, and that’s it. I don’t fucking get anything else about it, other than dreaming about becoming rich through it somehow. But that’s fucking it. That’s all I have about writing. I know that was incredibly enlightening, and this piece will be right up there with King’s “On Writing” as far as discussion of the craft is concerned, but, once again, if you will leave your praise to yourself, I would appreciate that very much.

…And if you can’t understand that I’m being sarcastic, please don’t fucking read anything else of mine ever again, you FUCKING RETARD.

Currently, most of my non-fiction is published here on this blog. And sometimes, I feel a bit crazy. I feel a bit repetitive. I feel like I write about the same things over and over and over. What I believe is the case is that similar ideas that I wish to discuss just overlap between articles: for instance, I’ve written multiple pieces simply about me writing, but I don’t believe that they are all exactly the same. The subject matter is similar, sure. But that is because I want to figure out why I write. The question remains the same in multiple pieces, so they feel similar to me. But I don’t believe they are the same. I believe that many of my pieces of non-fiction overlap. It would be a nightmare for me to organize them and combine them into one gigantic “piece”, chapter by chapter. But I definitely feel as if several pieces of my nonfiction are interconnected. I think the ideas are big, and are connected. (And if I truly am repetitive as a writer, once again, I do not care about you, as the reader. If I truly am insane, and am just rambling incoherent babble, then that is what my destiny as a writer is and I will continue to write. Once again, I don’t fucking care about what readers think about my work. I enjoy positive feedback, but only a little bit. My writing is all about me. I’m a fucking selfish writer, and that’s all I will ever be). Maybe I’m just a bad writer. And if I am: so be it.

Here, I would like to introduce some confusion that I currently feel as an “expressive” type. I have big ideas that I feel are intimately interconnected to one another. And it would feel good to have them all completed, have all of them connected, so that I could say “Wow, look at this. This is a beautiful piece of work.” But why do I want to say that? Who am I going to show that to? I don’t think that I have fully accepted the fact that my work is for me. Because the thing that confuses me is about readers. I can’t accept the fact that I only care about “readers” to the extent that it makes me money. “Making money” has been taboo to me for many, many years. And, much like sexuality, the desire to make money has been suppressed within me by religious fear. It’s hard to accept your sexuality when you’ve been told how sinful it is, and the same thing for a desire to make money. It’s really hard to undo things you have grown up believing. Which is one of life’s greatest tragedies…

In other words, I think that I was put on this earth to write and try to sell my writing. I’ve explained why I write: it’s just what I do. I can’t help myself. I just have to do it. And I don’t do it to make others feel good. I don’t do it for anyone else but me. But, I don’t write and then pile my writings in the corner of my room for them to never see the light of day. Expression is meant to be shared. Words are meant to be shared. I think it is just human nature. We all desire social activity: just along a spectrum, and of different kinds. But the “feedback loop” to me is money.

But why do I struggle with writing? And what is it that I want from it? I’ve talked about how I can become a better writer before, but I don’t know why I struggle with it. I think that my organizational abilities have been compromised over the years by social pressure. Being the “smart kid” leaves you up to a lot of bullying from those that are dumb, and my naturally passive nature just allowed them to walk all over me. So I started sounding just as dumb as them. But I’ve been miserable with my inability to write what I believe is “good”; to be able to speak intelligently in an organized manner. Also, there’s a problem that I have where I don’t feel like anyone understands what I’m saying. I have felt this way for a very long time, and it has been discouraging. Sometimes, it makes me wonder why I say anything at all. But it’s in my heart, and it has to come out, even if people don’t understand what I’m saying. It will just lead what I have to say towards a more depressing direction.

I may have just contradicted myself here. I earlier said that I don’t care what readers think. But then, I said that it is frustrating when people don’t understand what I’m saying. I think the caveat is that I don’t particularly care if a reader likes what I have to say. As long as they get it, I don’t care if they like it. I think that’s the answer to that apparent problem.

It is frustrating when other people don’t see your work as you do. Although this can change over time, I think that many creative types enjoy what they create. Some are driven mad by their perceived lack of ability to do what they wish to do, but I think that many are content with their work. And when someone doesn’t see the beauty of your work as you do, it is frustrating. Is it a natural occurrence that occurs by virtue of various aspects of human nature? Of course. It is an unchangeable reality that we all live in. But it’s precisely “unchangeable realities” that cause the most discomfort and suffering among us as humans.

Also, I’m terrified of being crazy. I’m terrified that my writings truly are, from an objective sense, incoherent babble. I don’t believe that they are. They make sense to me. But, frequently, I have found that they make sense to few others. And when they do make sense to others, I retract from those others, for fear that they will wish to develop a deeper emotional connection with me, and I do not desire that. I truly do have a tortuous personality type from time to time. The same characteristics that make me happy are the same that drive me mad. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it’s just other people that drive me mad…

The answer to me regarding the “crazy writing” problem is that if I am happy with it, and I think it is good, then it is good. I will characterize it as “good”. And I will choose how I wish to react to the reactions of my work. For some reason, it is almost taboo to say this type of thing nowadays. You mean you don’t want to hear any criticism of your work? What if it’s constructive? What if other people have good points? What if it makes you better? What if it makes you more money? My answer would be 1) tell someone who cares then 2) my writing is a very individualistic experience, whereby happiness is experienced on my part through what I write. And I have stated my opinions about the opinions of others about my work above.

“But don’t you want other people to like your work so that they give you money?” Yes. But I do not consider myself a “typical businessman” when it comes to my “art”. Am I going to be a door-to-door writer? “Yes, I’m conducting a survey on what type of writing you like. What genre do you like? How do you like the writing to go?” Of fucking course not. This is the type of attitude that non-writers give to people who dream of becoming professional writers. Honestly, I don’t think their opinion has any actual merit when it comes to the field. Does it have some fucking merit in an existential sense where everyone is entitled to their own opinion? Of course it does, you fucking idiot. But if by heeding their advice, is it going to give me more money? Maybe. But is it going to make me happy? No. Is it going to defeat the purpose of me writing? YES. Then I’m not going to fucking listen to it, and it has no merit for me. “But maybe it would if you would listen!” Fuck. You. I don’t fucking care what you have to say, please shut the fuck up, and tell someone who cares, you fucking good-for-nothing piece of human waste who can only bring others down because you’re too stupid to bring yourself up.

This is why I hate readers. I really fucking hate other people. I hate idiots. I hate people. I hate dumb readers that can’t understand what you’re saying. I hate liars. I won’t even begin to discuss them, for that’s worthy of its own piece. I wish that I was perfectly content being in my own head, where I only allowed people in at my own choosing. I’m too sensitive, and I try too hard to listen to multiple opinions equally and then make a decision. But when multiple opinions are stupid, you just can’t fucking make any sense of it. And you have to tell them it’s stupid. And then they get upset. And it’s just all a big fucking waste of goddamn time. But humans are, sometimes…

This is a bit of a tangent, but I want to discuss fear for a second. People are incredibly easily scared. When a tragedy happens, people become frightened. And when idiots become frightened, they ascribe the wrong diagnosis to what caused the tragedy in the first place. Even smart people can do this in times of stress (or, as I stated earlier, if they are malevolent), but idiots take this to a whole new level. Sadly, there are a large number of idiots in the world. Therefore, the human race is largely affected by said idiots. I don’t know why there are so many idiots in the world (what in the fuck was God thinking?), but there are. And they cause fucking problems. In the politically correct world in which we live, you can’t even discuss idiocy anymore. One more quick tangent: my theory about political correctness is that those who are PC are either stupid or evil. They are either as stupid as those that believe that music, video games, etc. cause violence, or they are as corrupt as those that proudly announce that they are protecting our freedoms by taking them away. They can only be one of the two types.

But idiots run the world. I’m not even talking about politicians. I’m just talking about the problems that idiots cause that affect everyone else around them, and the messes they create that people have to work hard to clean up. One fucking idiot who leans down to pick up their cell phone from the floorboard, completely dipping their head underneath the dash of their car, can cause untold damage to property, and can even fucking kill. Traffic is stopped for everybody (probably for an extended period of time), people are late to work, unsuspecting people hit other unsuspecting people, and, of course, somebody has to clean the fucking mess up. The idiots are a disgrace to humanity… One belligerent, wrong customer holds up the entire line for all of the innocent, unsuspecting, sane, functional members of society. Almost makes you want to be a eugenicist…

“How do you know you aren’t an idiot?” Because I’m fucking smart, that’s how. And I don’t care to explain how I know this to you, because all you’re looking to do is bring me down so you feel better about yourself, so fuck you, you self-conscious bastard. Get some fucking self-esteem. Please. And leave me the fuck alone.

And, of course, there will be some idiots that read this, and that consume other things that I create. I’m not assuming that you’re an idiot: indeed, there will be intelligent people that read this. Maybe some that even want to discuss it, or compliment it. And I’m sure there will be smart people that will have their constructive criticism, and will want to debate. But none of this will change the fact that I fucking hate the cancer known as humanity.

Right about now is the time where some fucking idiots will start comparing me to Eric Harris. Why? Because of the fear and idiocy that I just mentioned. Not to mention the PC bullshit that I just mentioned as well. I’m not saying that trying to prevent violent crime isn’t a noble goal. But for fuck’s sake, people are fucking retarded when it comes to this for reasons that I just mentioned. People can’t stay sane during a tragedy, and that compounds the problem. Mourning is one thing, but if you want to “create a change”, you need to be rational. No amount of tears are going to change this fact.

I’m not going to delve into this too much here (it will be a “subject for another piece” (interconnectedness among pieces. See? I’m not crazy…well…)), but crime prevention is a large topic that I wish to discuss eventually. I’ll simply leave a teaser and say that I’m a bit “Orwellian” in this regard (meaning leaning towards his thoughts: not the thoughts of “Big Brother”).

For some reason, there is just a relief when one expresses oneself. One can be on a deserted island, and let out a primal yell, and somehow, that will soothe their soul, if only for a little while. It is a bit strange to me. I don’t understand why we would desire to express ourselves, even no one else is around to hear it. But there is something about getting what is inside out. It’s not about other people consuming it, or feedback, but just getting it out. It’s like a relief. It just feels good. It’s like you can finally let go of what was in your head. It sits in your head, and stews, and stews, and stews, until it’s completed on paper. And sometimes, even that doesn’t end it.

Describing my writing is very difficult. It is important to me, because I want to understand it. I love to write, and I want to know why. I want to understand myself. Analyze myself. I want to do this, if for no other reason, so that I can move on. To move on to the next piece. But I have discovered something about myself (or, rather, finally admitted something to myself), and that is I am extremely lazy.

I have been afraid of being lazy for a long time. Others’ words about how I’ll be poor forever terrify me. But the thought of doing difficult work that I can’t stand does not appeal to me, either. The balance, for me, is a job that is easy, or something that I love to do (and, obviously, a combination of both preferred). I’ve always been lazy. Always loved taking the easiest way out. And although it has caused problems every now and then, I think that it has not been as bad as people made it out to be to me. Sure, people judged me. But who cares. I’ve been pretty happy about the whole thing. I do kind of worry about what I am actually going to do to make money, and how that is going to affect my happiness in life. But, I know that I am lazy. I have specific things that I enjoy doing, and I do them. There’s a reason I don’t do much else, and it’s because I don’t enjoy much else. I don’t want to try new things. I’m happy with what I’m doing. So, I’m going to do the few things that I enjoy, and do them repeatedly, and see if anyone ends up giving a fuck in the end. I’m not interested in killing myself for success. I am interested in being as lazy as possible, and developing my interests. So progress will be slow, and I can live with that; as long as I don’t fucking listen to anyone else.

When I decide a piece is good, and done, then it is good, and done. When I decide I want to write, I will write. I’ll write when and what I want to write about, and be happy with it when I am happy with it. I just care about being honest. And the monetary stresses that come along with it, I will just have to accept and deal with.

I just hope that I can keep the voices of others out of my head, and focus only on my own…

‘Twill be a long struggle, no doubt……

And I don’t know what to think about the financial aspect anymore (and, of course, I don’t want to be told what to think about it, either).

I think I’m going to end this piece right here.

That’s good……

One more thing…

Nah, I just wanted to fuck with you because I enjoy it.

I want you to be aggravated by thinking about how stupid and immature I am.

I want you to think there’s a lot more to this, when there really isn’t.

Ok, I’m done now.

The Rantings of a Crazed, Lunatic Writer.

Inspiration.

What is It That Makes Me Happy as A Writer?

A Declaration of Independence.

Analyzing My Decision-Making.

Insightful.

Murray Rothbard.

My work.

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

A Memorandum on Dreams.

Analyzing My Decision-Making

In my opinion, there is something fundamentally wrong with the way I am currently approaching my work. By “my work”, I mean my writing (and probably my comedy as well). I need some changes. The main issue currently is the fact that I’m not working on it as much as I believe that I should. This belief comes from the amount of unfinished work that I have, and my desire to bring each and every piece “to life”. This is just natural to me. This is a large part of who I am. I don’t know why, but I want to create stuff. And I want to show other people that stuff. And after that, things get murky, but it involves a lot of green…(well, actually, gold).

I’ve stated this before, but typically, when you’re trying to solve a problem, it remains in your head continuously as you contemplate the issue. I think part of the reason that so much of my work remains unfinished is because there are a lot of “big” works. Works that would take a lot of mental effort to complete that, most of the time, I do not feel like exerting. “I will complete them in time.” I firmly believe that. From a philosophical standpoint, I am in no hurry. From a spiritual standpoint, if I die (the ultimate end to any timeline involving planning) before I get all of my work done, am I actually going to care? Of course not. I’ll be dead. So what’s my motivation for completing anything? In some ways, I think that’s almost the issue…

Why do I want to get anything done at all? The first thing that comes to mind is money. I know that I have a way with words: or, let’s put it this way: I’m a writer. There are people who are not writers, and there are people that are writers. The people who are not writers will not get paid for writing, because they do not do the writing. Only a writer can get paid for writing. And, of course, there are countless writers who do not get paid for writing. But, my thought process is that I am a little talented at this. I don’t know how to measure how much, but I have a little “knack” for it. And what I am currently in the process of figuring out is how my writing matches up to the “market” of sellable writing. And it has been extremely interesting thus far.

Due to me not reading very much (which is due to me wanting to “create” more so than to “consume” so that I feel more productive; I understand this isn’t necessarily a “legitimate” thought-process, but it is mine nonetheless), I am not a good measurer of the writing of others. I couldn’t tell you why some authors “succeed” while others failed. I do not know how to compare my writing to the writing of others. The only way of “comparing” involves money, as there are concrete numbers to define the differences between writers. Due to me not wanting to be a literary critic, this (and besides, maybe, length of works, number of works completed, etc.) are my only ways of comparing my work to others. Why would I want to compare my work to others? Well, it should be simple to you, but just in case it isn’t, I’ll spell it out for you in language as clear as I can make. Any time you enter a “market”, meaning “selling” something, you are entering into a competitive field. It does not matter what your beliefs are involving money, your work, happiness, etc. When you “sell”, you are “competing”. There is no way around this: this is a fact. Regardless of your field. If you are a car mechanic, you are competing with other car mechanics in your area. There are restraints, obviously, that keep people in your area from flying overseas to get their car worked on. How far are people in your area willing to travel to get their car worked on (assuming that they are actually able to travel, with their car needing to be worked on and all). There are restraints upon transportation, restraints upon the number of people offering the service of working on the car, and there is the price that it will take for the mechanic to agree to work upon your car (not to mention, what you actually have to offer the mechanic in trade, that he is willing to accept). The point is that in any field, in any area, or “market”, where things are being sold, there are constraints.

I have no idea how to analyze the “writer’s” market. For one, as I said, I’m not a big reader. I do not know how I can analyze who is a “good” writer and who is a “bad” writer. To not leave a cliffhanger, I’ll simply say that the best that I can gauge that is the following:

1) Preferences are obviously subjective, and there will be no author universally liked.

2) Measuring the “like” that even one person has for an author or work is impossible, and this magnifies as you add more authors, more works, more readers, and even day-to-day emotions, where a person can like a particular piece of work more on one day than another.

3) There are tendencies where certain authors are “liked” to such a degree that they receive noticeable financial compensation for their work. They receive enough money for an undefined number of people to be aware of their existence. There is no exact number of people that must know of said author; the only measurement we can take is how much compensation they have received for their work (or, perhaps, number of works sold, etc.). The numbers are really the only way of “measuring” one’s success on the market. Although exact numbers are not necessary, people have a sense of how much money one is making, and, therefore, can have a rough idea of who is “successful” and who isn’t. Of course, here, I must define “successful.” “Successful” is making enough money to not have to do any other task in order to be satisfied with your standard of living. By my definition, if a man is content living off of his own land, with no trade between himself and another human being, then he is “successful.” If a man is content with the work that he does in order to sustain himself, then he is “successful.” I guess that I define it this way because that is what a success for me would be. A “success” for me would be being able to “make a living” through things that I enjoy doing: things that I would do (and actually do) without pay. Success is taking a passion and turning it into a profit (I know that’s cheesy-sounding, but that makes me laugh, so I’m keeping it in). In my own opinion, I will be “successful” if I can take things that I love to do and turn them into a “living”. That is my ultimate view of success. There is no person on this Earth who can convince me to change my mind. This is my definition of “success”.

Now, notice that I said “ultimate view of success”. This does not mean that I have no “successes”. When I create something that I enjoy, I have “succeeded”. But, in my opinion, to a smaller degree. I do not want to be complacent with “compromise”. I do not want to adapt my way of thinking to “be happy with what I have.” To approach my dead-end job with “A good attitude”, “Learning to live with less”, “Counting my blessings”, and other clichés that have become so fashionably vain as to lose their (hopefully) benevolent original meaning.

I used to believe that I repeated myself a lot from work to work. And I still believe that is true. But I think that I am beginning to realize that these works kind of play off of each other. They aren’t organized like a book, with chapter to chapter, but they are rather a life’s work. They are worldview; a perspective; individual pieces that link together to form a “philosophy”, I guess you could say. Therefore, there will be a lot of repetition between works. I believe that each piece that relates to one another adds something that the other piece does not have. I have often felt anxious, as some readers (particularly when I was younger) said that I was very “repetitive”. I used to stress over it. “Oh God, I’ll never be a good writer!” But I don’t believe this is the case. Maybe I’m blind. Maybe I’m naïve. But I’m also tired of accepting other people’s analysis of me simply because they were bold enough to tell me what it is, and to “be a good listener”, and some of those other dumb “feel-good” cliches. If I do not develop my own personal, heartfelt opinion about my work, my philosophy, my ethics, my decisions, and my life course…then I might as well not even be fucking alive

How did I come to develop this perspective regarding success? First and foremost, I believe it had to do with my parents. My father worked in a “plant” for most of his life. From the time I was a young child, he always told me to get an education. To do something besides just entering the workforce, and slaving your life away. Do something different. Mainly, it involved going to school. I do not know what type of career he envisioned me taking through the education he wanted me to receive. But it doesn’t really matter. The point is that he did not want me to go down the path he did. His path, like the path of most people (and this isn’t an unethical thing or anything like that) is to join the workforce, and just go to work. Go to work at a job you hate that (most of the time) barely pays the bills. That’s how it is. Life is hard, and it isn’t because of greed. It’s because of the Fall of Man; Adam and Eve. And it’s just because life is fucking hard.

He repeated it to me often. As I said, I do not know exactly what he had in mind, but I took his words literally. “Do not do what you did.” It’s funny now, but I interpreted this, in at least one instance, in the following internal logic I once had: “You started working when you were a teenager. Now, you want me to get a job. But you told me to not do what you did. So I’m not going to get a job because I don’t want to end up where you are, because you told me not to end up where you are. So I’m not going to go down the same path that you did because I feel like that will lead me to the same destination as you, and you don’t want me to do that.” Now, I understand how stupid (albeit, genuine, I would almost argue) that logic is. But, say, 8, 9 years ago, I did not. And I made my father’s life a lot harder than I probably should have. Any lesser man would’ve strangled me to death. If he wasn’t as patient as he was, I can assure you that neither you nor I would be reading this today.

But his words stuck with me. As I mentioned, sometimes to a detriment, but they still struck a chord with me. I would hear his words, and I would watch television news as he watched it. “So-and-so made this much money.” Man, that’s a lot of money! And they’re singing?! And writing?! And acting?! Initially, this created immense envy on my part. Unbearable envy. Envy has made my life almost unbearably hard at times. Envy over wealth and envy over sexual attractiveness plagued me throughout my teenage years. I suppose you could argue that’s normal (and some people never grow out of it; maybe none of us do), but life was so hard back then. All I could do was sit and be angry that I wasn’t rich. That I wasn’t a model. I was so angry back then. I’m glad those days are over with, even if I do feel a flash or twinge of envy from time to time…I don’t think it will ever get back to the severe level that it was back then (thank God).

Finally, by some divine miracle, my envy turned into ambition. I started to say “I can do that.” Besides my father’s persistence, this may be the most crucial step in my journey. When I started to tell myself to start trying to do things instead of sitting around, angry that others were doing things, my life literally changed forever. I can’t describe the magnitude of that change. It was simply a motherfucking blessing.

I have not looked back, and I never will. I can never be as miserable (at least regarding this area of life) as I was back then. It’s impossible. I decided to try. I decided to figure out what it was that I wanted to do (because I saw other people on television doing things that they enjoyed doing). I did not want to become like those around me, my parents included, who worked at jobs they hated, barely getting by. I wanted bigger things. I wanted more. And I know that everyone does. Everyone wants “more”, a better job, etc. But I do not care. The lives of others are not of my concern. Each person is responsible for his or her own life, so the course that he or she chooses is not my responsibility. I only care for my own direction.

Of course, I wish others the best. But I cannot stress over the decisions of others. “Andy might make a mistake! His life could take a terrible turn! I better be able to help him live his life because I don’t want him to make a mistake!” It’s a tyrannical compassion (so is it really compassion?) Fretting over the decisions of your fellow man is, at least to a certain extent, futile. Unless you are the type of person who enjoys controlling the lives of others, then you will probably not reach this point of ethics (unless you were as, for lack of a better term, “religiously” neurotic as I was). You must live and let live. Otherwise, you will be suffering from more things out of your control than you otherwise would, and I, quite frankly, just don’t want to fucking live that way.

At this point, I realize that I am not “successful” by any of the ways that I described it earlier. “Why should I give a fuck about any of this?”, you may be asking yourself. And my answer is that I don’t care if you do or not. I don’t do any of this for you: I don’t do any of this for anyone but myself. Any positive feedback that I receive is an added benefit: not the purpose.

“But you want to make money, right? You understand that you need positive feedback, and looooooooooooooooooots of it if you want to be financially successful, right?”

Yes.

…And what’s your point?

It seems as if many people that I have expressed my intentions to do not understand that “goals” exist on a spectrum, and are mutually exclusive. Simply for my own sake (see: sanity), I’ll attempt to distinguish between these two (apparently) contradictory values.

The number one value is the enjoyment of the work itself. I want to enjoy the labor that I put into the work, the concept of the work, and the final creation of the work. If I write a best-selling book, and hated the entire process of writing, then I failed by my own definition. The point is the enjoyment of the work. Next is the money.

…And that’s it.

I don’t care about fame, or personal praises (I don’t hate them, and they are nice, but I feel rather neutral to them, as I do not feel like they influence my creative decisions one way or the other (actually, I know they fucking don’t), so they don’t really matter to me. It’s a simple “Thank you”, then move on).

Here, insert my philosophical standpoint that I introduced at the beginning of this piece.

So let’s get back to something else that I introduced earlier in this piece: what is wrong with my process?

I’m an extremely impatient thinker. Sitting and thinking is annoying to me. Making things “perfect” or “just right” is a tedium beyond my patience-level. So sitting and thinking of how to make a piece of writing “perfect” (or whatever adjective you want to use that won’t make you question my use of it) makes me feel restless. In my opinion, if I don’t know what I’m going to say, then I shouldn’t be writing. The thoughts should come long before I start writing. If I try to think of what I’m going to say when my word processor is open, then I have waited far too long to start thinking.

But how do I get better at writing when I’m not fucking writing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

And that’s the issue.

How do I get anything done when I’m not writing? How do I get better when I’m not FUCKING WRITING?!

Well, quite simply, I FUCKING CAN’T. And that pisses me off, because I want to get stuff done.

Understanding myself as a writer is the first step in this process. Understanding my own personal writing philosophies are the first step of this process for me. If I can’t understand why I’m writing, then I don’t think I should be writing. But I want to become better at it. I’ll be the judge of how I’m getting better, and what makes something of mine “good”. But I don’t know how to do it yet.

The beauty is that this is a lifelong journey, and you should remember my life philosophy that I mentioned long ago in this piece.

The writing is unfinished because the thoughts are unfinished, and the thoughts are unfinished because I’m still fucking living.

As a wise band once said:

What’s your hurry? Everyone will have his day to die (die, die, die).

And, lest I forget, I should mention that my mother, for better or for worse (I think for the better), always said that “I could do whatever I set my mind to.” She gave me the confidence to believe that I could do what I wanted to do. My father gave me the passion to pursue a career that I enjoy, and my mother gave me the confidence that I could succeed at it.

I guess I’ll end with something sappy about them both.

…That’s as sappy as I’m going to get in this piece (sorry, Mom).

Thanks for reading.

A Memorandum on Dreams.

Insightful.