I always say if I start a sentence with “You know what…?” that nothing good can follow. I started my post that way—that should give you a clear indication of where I am right now. FYI, I’m cursing A LOT in this post—you know how it goes…
There’s a lot of stuff going on in my life right now, things that have both nothing and everything to do with the writing process. My wife is sick enough that she has major surgery scheduled the day before Thanksgiving. I’m optimistic and I believe the best will happen. But I’m a realist too and have to consider that surgery might not be the end. On top of recovery, there’s the chance of chemotherapy or additional surgeries or that there’s actually nothing else to do but wait for the inevitable. The Boy is…The Boy and he comes with his special blend of Xbox/girlfriend/fuck homework 13-year-old bullshit. The Honey Badger is a sweet monster who requires both oversight and intervention, both a leash and a free range. It’s like living with a rabid Care Bear. The Day Job Dragon and I have declared a curious détente: the beast agrees not to attack (at least until my wife is better) and I agree simply maintain. I don’t have the energy to rise and it’s taking all I have not to fall.
But wait, there’s more: I’m still trying to write another book. See, I have this thing for these Herculean feats and what’s a novel on the back of Atlas? But every word is like pulling teeth and night after night I find myself at the keyboard struggling to eke out a paltry 300-400 words. And if that wasn’t enough, my computer blew up yesterday.
Yes, my shiny Macbook Pro, the one that’s only 2 years old, the one that cost more than $1000 (you know how much they are, you can Google it), the one I called Heaven—that MF decided to crash its hard drive! Was leaving an AWESOME status on Facebook, this bitch froze and then I got a gray screen with a flashing folder. You ever see Spider-Man 2? In the movie Pete’s having a tough time: he’s broke, his aunt is getting her house foreclosed, his woman is dating someone else, he’s failing school, his best friend wants to kill his alter ego, he can’t pay rent, he can’t tell ANYBODY who he is, and on top of all that, he loses his powers. THAT’S how I feel. Like I lost my powers. To say I am pissed is an understatement. King Kong watching them take his woman away was pissed. Anakin Skywalker finding out Obi-Wan snuck on the ship with Padme—he was pissed. I’m about two notches shy of Rick Grimes at the end of the Season 2 finale of The Walking Dead.
This is not an indictment of Apple: I believe they make a superior product in this respect. Show me the PC that can run both the Mac OS and Windows. Show me the PC that is that user friendly or that aesthetically pleasing or that intuitive with the other devices in your home. I’m not shitting on Apple but if you say I can recover my fucking Lion operating system through the internet then show me my fucking hard drive so I can recover it you incremental product creating, iPhone 4 but you gotta buy the 4S if you want Siri so give me $200 and then we changed the connection on the bottom of the iPhone 5 so you have to buy every-fucking-thing all over again ass muthafuckas. OK so it’s a slight indictment of Apple…
But that’s not even the issue. Fine, I gotta kick up some dollars for a new hard drive. Fine. Whatever. I can deal with that. What’s that you say? What about all the data you had? Oh, you mean the 40 gigs of music I had? Yeah, that shit is gone. Luckily for me, I ignored my wife and still have all my CDs in the garage. But everything I wrote—books and novel ideas and plot synopses and screenplays and blog posts. GONE. That also includes all of Come Hell or High Water, the sequel to my first novel, The Road to Hell.
OK, so I didn’t lose the whole book. I lost about 30 pages. 30 shitty ass pages. You hear that? My story was so bad my computer fell apart instead of let me continue. And it was right. Truth is, my heart wasn’t in the story I was writing, I was slogging it out, and I think the quality showed. Now it’s November, and you NaNoWriMos might be saying “But it’s a draft! You have to go through a poor draft to get to the good stuff.” And you’d be right. If I was doing National Novel Writing Month. If this were my first book. If I’d never done this before. See, I can do better—as a writer, I shit on my craft when I accept something less than my capabilities. And to my readers, you deserve much more than the half-ass endeavors of an artist going through a tough patch.
My computer was right.
So today, without my powers, I got up before the sun, put on my red and blue pajamas and put pen to paper. And started to scratch out a better plot. I started to find the peace in the midst of the tornado that is my life. And, you know what? It was awesome!
That really sucks. All of it. Every last bit.
You’re at the point in your writing career that you can recognize when what you write is crap, that you can write so much better, and then you do it. You push yourself when you could easily throw that crap out there for everyone instead; you realize your limitations and tell them to go F themselves and push yourself to beyond your best.
And that is awesome.
A agree with edmartinwriter. It’s very impressive how you can still push yourself despite all that shit and get going again. You’re certainly not someone who gives up easily – if at all. And that’s simply… amazing! More people should take a leaf out of your book. 🙂
Honestly ladies I hadn’t looked at it that way. I don’t feel remarkable; I feel compelled to make the best out of a bad situation. But I soooo appreciate the vote of confidence. I do. It means so much to me and I really appreciate it.