Thursday, December 30, 2010

The more things change... know the rest, I'm sure. I've been away from this blog for a bit because I've been so damn busy with "real" jobs and life in general. But I just came across something interesting I wrote in 2005, on the cusp of 2006. I figured it would be interesting and/or amusing (maybe somewhat sad...?) to share it here because five whole years later, I'm pretty much in the same place...maybe a baby-step or two closer to my true goals.

"As 2006 begins I find myself at a crossroads, both personally and professionally. I’ve been working far too long at job which I have grown to despise and seriously fear is turning me into a person even I do not like – a bitter, callous misanthrope who casts spiteful dispersions on anyone and everyone in his range. I have a second job and/or hobby I love, writing, which I think I’ve spent more money on than I’ve actually earned. And, unfortunately, it seems nigh-impossible for me to catch that ever-elusive “break” that all artists strive for, regardless of how talented I think I am or other people tell me I am. What “catching a break” means to me is that I would get to do what I love on a daily basis, as a “job.” I’ve tried several different avenues to achieve this goal: films, comics, prose fiction and video games and have come tantalizingly close in each field. But, in the end, I’ve always had the rug yanked out from underneath me at the last possible moment (and that’s usually the point where a binding contract and/or real MONEY becomes involved…).

Every New Year’s Eve for the past ten years or so, I’ve said to myself, “This is the year, dammit, this is year where it all happens!” And, of course, I found myself saying the same thing at the stroke of midnight this year. (This is kind of a non-squetor but was anyone else totally wigged out by how fucked up Dick Clark looked and sounded this year?? I know the man survived a stroke and all but, Jesus Christ, he was seriously killing my buzz. I think it’s due time ol’ Dickie-boy hung up the microphone, for his own sake and ours. I DO NOT need to see that train wreck again next year. Ya hear me, ABC?)

Will 2006 be the year that it all comes together and I “break on through to the other side?” That I cannot say, but if it doesn’t happen this year, how many more New Years’ can I endure, thinking those same thoughts, without genuinely questioning my grip on reality?

Still, I have my hopes…but they are dwindling. Fast.

Personally, the crossroads I face on a daily basis is rectifying the “family man vs. artist” argument. I love my family and I also love my writing. Are these things mutually exclusive or can I give both the attention they so desperately need and deserve? The answer here is (of course!) the proverbial Catch 22. If at some point I can sustain my family via writing then, yes, I feel I can give both the necessary attention. If writing always is secondary, or remains in its current “hobby” phase and I have to keep my “day” job, then at some point something is going to have to give one way or another because when I am writing, I feel like a shit for not spending enough quality time with my family, and when I’m doing something with the family, I feel like I’m slighting the writing.

Quite the conundrum, eh? Anyone care to switch places with me for a day or two? Didn’t think so."