Tag Archives: Making a living

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.

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“What do you want to do for a living, Cody?”

“A combination of stupid stuff and smart stuff.”

“That was both well and terribly said.”

Edit.

Writing.

More writing.

“What do you want to do with your life, Cody?” Shoot you in the fucking face and then fuck your dumb dead body, you cunt.

Offend the Fuck Out of People.

Intelligence.

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A Philosopher’s Mind.

Creat.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Insightful.

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Excerpts from my fiction.

My poetry.

Jokes.

Where you can financially support me if you so desire (T-shirts included; please share all of these links).

No one gives a fuck about anyone trying to make a living…until they just DO.

You’ve got to be internally motivated if you’re going to succeed, because no one else is going to give a fuck about you.

They only care once you’ve found it within yourself to consistently do all of the hard work.

Economics.

Voluntarism and Capitalism.

Insightful.

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Things that I have for sale on Kindle.

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Growing up? :( NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

😦 <- (This is a funny link. Please click it).

I think that phase, so common in adulthood, where dreams begin to die, and restless complacence starts to kick in, is creeping into my subconscious ever so subtly. I have always dreamed big, even if my effort put forward would cause me to fall and crash onto the dirt of reality, leaving me with a toothless mouth and a bloody nose. But even as those would say “It’s time to grow up, Cody”, I would take another Evel Knievel jump, thinking that the next one would launch me into the sky, and I would fly free like an eagle. And, once again, I would come crashing down on the dirt, to another bloody nose. And I would jump, and fall, and jump, and fall, convinced that my next jump would launch me into space, where I could float eternally.

But I’m beginning to realize that now, it’s time to readjust the plan. Perhaps I can’t jump off of the cliff anymore without a parachute, or a pair of wings, however faulty those wings may be. And, perhaps, maybe I should stop jumping off of the cliff altogether, walk down the hillside, and lie on some other piece of dirt somewhere: somewhere much easier to get to.

All of this is to say that I can no longer have the ignorant view of my life’s direction anymore. I can no longer assume that x will get me y in z amount of time, only to have z + 1, z + 2, z + … pass me by, thinking that I will get everything that I ever wanted, and more.

Now, let me clarify here that every entrepreneur must have that attitude to succeed. He must continue to believe that he will get there eventually, no matter how many times he fails. And someone who has never become an entrepreneur can’t possibly understand that. Those who take the success of businesses for granted can’t comprehend the difficulty of obtaining that success, and they never will. They don’t care to, they are ok with that, and they would rather condemn from their shanties. It is very easy for poor people to watch television (excerpts from “Breaking News: story 2 of the Apocalyptic Series”), watch an interview involving some rich person, listen to them talk about how difficult it was to achieve their success, and how shitty their lives growing up were, and to just dismiss it because of the amount of money that they have. But this is a grave error that is sure to keep the watcher in poverty. This type of attitude keeps poverty going. This mentality is what keeps poor people poor: not that rich person on television. But, because it is easier, many poor people adopt that attitude and thus, remain in poverty, and continue to blame said person on television again for that poverty, and that cycle continues; and continues even more so when it is passed on from generation to generation, as tragic as that is.

But teaching people that nothing that they do will get them out of poverty is 1) dishonest and 2), quite frankly, unjust. It is dishonest because there is no guarantee of whether or not an action (or sequence of actions) that one takes will get them out of poverty. And it is unjust to convince someone to not even try by getting them to believe otherwise. It’s a complete abomination to humanity and, quite frankly, I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the anger it causes me. So, I will leave it at that.

There are so many directions that I could go from here, but because of my lack of development of some of the ideas that I’d like to introduce and tie into this, I will decide to continue this way: I am very glad that I adopted the entrepreneurial attitude. I am glad that I grew out of my nothing-I-do-will-get-me-out-of-poverty attitude. Thankfully, one thankful day, a light bulb turned on above my head, and my life just simply has not been the same since. It is not the same politically, socially, or religiously. It is a blessing, and I cannot be thankful enough for it. From that day on, I simply stopped blaming others for my poverty and started working to change it.

My first step was to study economics, which I have. And all I will say about that is that I sympathize for the ones who are receiving incorrect economic theory, and, sadly, leave it at that. I am still in, in all honesty, the first step. I’m not sure if I’ll ever leave the first step. It seems crucial to me that if I hope to better myself financially, I need to learn how to do so (very few people would disagree with me there). And, I think that the best way for me to do so is to just understand the entire system, as that’s what I’m going to be a part of, and the system is what dictates my financial success. And, here I am today, still a student with incomplete knowledge, who is attempting to absorb every single fact I can (and failing miserably at it), looking for the next piece of information to absorb, contemplate, and either accept or reject. Hopefully, this stage lasts for a long time, but also hopefully, I make progress as well.

The second step for me, after studying economics, was to figure out what I wanted to do. I’ve never set out to let pursuit of wealth dictate my actions, except insofar as attempting new things that I hadn’t attempted before. Trying to make money has caused me to do many different things, such as starting a Youtube channel, or publishing things on Kindle. However, I had already planned on writing before I even thought about publishing. Publishing was a long afterthought, with just the joy (and, frankly, compulsion) of writing coming first. I can’t stand explaining this to others, beck and call, every single time they feel the self-righteous (or, even, with genuine compassion) that “I shouldn’t write for the money.” Quite frankly, it’s exhausting, and I’m done responding to their comment.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, even though I didn’t write. I’ve known that I’ve had it in me for as long as I can remember, but I never knew how to begin. Finally, I just said “You know what?” (“What?”, you reply). “I think I’m just to start something out.” And I just began writing. And then, I added something else to it. Then I thought of this, and then this was added, and then that, and then this, and then “Oooh! This is good”, and so on and so forth, until finally, Torture was written. And then, I had a completed story that I felt proud of. I wrote it completely for fun, fell in love with it, and felt proud that I had completed an actual story. I was thrilled, ecstatic, and just plain goddamn happy. Then, I let some friends read it, and they liked it (I don’t believe that they were entirely humoring me). Them liking it made me decide to try to sell it, and my “publishing” stage was born. And that’s a big reason why I’m in the position that I’m in right now, writing, video making, and it all.

From there, I wrote a couple of more stories, and started marketing relentlessly. It’s been three straight years of marketing, with very little results (which is ok, even though I would like to be in a better position today than I am (who wouldn’t?)). A lot of marketing has helped craft my style, which I consider crude and honest. This marketing style, which is a huge part of my personality, has helped me craft and hone a love and passion into a (currently) unsuccessful business model, which I am still proud of. I am extremely proud of myself that I have taken this initiative to undertake this unconventional business model and keep it going for so long. If I’m being honest here, I have so many ideas for it that I can’t express them all here, but I’m extremely content with how it is developed, even if I do wish I had more money to show for it. But I genuinely believe that will come with time.

So, as it sits, I have a near-infinite amount of ideas, which are either going to be for sale or used to market things for sale, which are going to help shape and mold my rough-around-the-edges-crude persona (it’s the best word I could come up with: it’s not fake, but it’s still a “personality” reflected through writing and any other medium that I decide to use (and it’s for sale)), and craft it into a body of work that, even if financially unsuccessful, will make me extremely happy and proud, and that’s where I am. I have so many ideas that I can’t begin to explain them all, and although my fanbase is incredibly small at the moment, I still love (most) of my work. And that’s a large majority of “most”: not 51%. I may not be able to convince anyone that what I’m doing will become a successful business model, and maybe it never will. But all that I know is that I have to do what I enjoy doing, and all of this is it. It has gotten to the point where if I don’t create something marketable, I become indescribably bored, restless, and depressed that I’m not taking advantage of another opportunity. I can tell in my heart, by all of this language that I’m using, that I was born to do this, to be a businessman of this shade, and to experience all of the trials and errors that it takes to become, for lack of a better term, a “professional media maker”. Although I don’t know which kind of businessman I will be (successful or unsuccessful), I do know that my work so far has made me happy beyond measure (even though I do frequently emotionally struggle with the lack of money it has given me), and my work is not going to change in spirit, even if it does finally get honed and crafted to a better degree (measured by me, mainly) and ends up changing to a point where comparing new work to old work would make their artist (me) unrecognizeable. I can’t stop doing this, simply because I would be bored beyond description, and I feel like I would come back to this attempt to sell this shit by default. I would end up going through the exact same process: creating stuff that I want to create, and then later try to sell it. So, I’m pretty content with where I am, at least as far as doing passionate work is concerned.

And as far as turning that work into “a living” is concerned: I’m not going to change the work just to make more money. That’s just absolutely not going to happen. At least not on any drastic level. And, if it continues to not work out, I will simply have to find new sources of income which, as long as the government doesn’t kill the country, I should be able to do. I might hate the work, and live in less-than-ideal living standards, but, at least currently, I think that as long as I have all of this work, and this passion, and this spirit, I may be able to make it through this world afterall…

And those are my honest thoughts; *at least currently…

*Subject to change.

Age.

Halloween.

(Where you can financially support me (if you so desire) 😉