Be glad I'm baring my soul (and not something else).....
The creative urge is a funny thing. It's equal parts sadistic and masochistic. And when you consider that the source of this creative outpouring is a deeply antisocial man with a head full of issues it becomes even more.....crazy. Uh-oh. There's that word again.
It's true, though. Many of you out there are artists in one form or another. Those of you that are know that there is nothing that exposes you more than creating a story or a drawing or a script from out of thin air and laying it bare in front of the world. It's intimidating. It's the ultimate nakedness. Even a simple movie review bears the stamp of your own personal style and voice.
When I blog or submit one of my short stories to this publication or that I am putting my hands down at my sides and waiting for the blows to rain down. I do this willingly. I'd like to know if all of the smoke that people have blown up my ass since I was a brooding child is just bullshit or if there is actually something there. Does anyone want to actually read my bullshit? Will they take my advice and watch that movie? Will they subscribe and "tune in" next week at the same Bat-time and same Bat-Channel?
In short: am I relevant? Do my words really matter?
That is a very dramatic (borderline emo) simplification of why we create, but it isn't bullshit. Every artist asks themselves this question, whether consciously or subconsciously. I think the difference is that the ones who do it subconsciously are either so good at bullshitting themselves that they are incapable of facing this question or they are incredibly cocky. Maybe I'm just low on confidence. I'm not sure on that one, but I do know I question myself a lot and as little as I like criticism I need it to grow.
To date, I have submitted 7 stories to various publications from Asimov's Science Fiction to an internet only magazine called Sockdolager. 6 of them have been rejected. Of those, 4 had the impersonal letters of rejection that just say "it's not for us". 2 have had legit responses that have said what they didn't like about it and why it didn't work right now. Those are worth their weight in gold.
You want to hear something funny? When I went back and re-read those 2 stories I realized how right the editor was. The ending of "The Last Outpost" was tacked on and unnecessary. I didn't see it at first because I was still in the glow of creation. That glow is a powerful thing. You feel like you've birthed something beautiful. There's no way your child could be ugly. Inconceivable!!!
It's the same way with this blog. I want to know what people do and don't want to read. I know there are folks who have subscribed; I can see the numbers in my analytic metrics. I know which ones are popular and which aren't, but sometimes you want a more personal suggestion. I'm very open to suggestion, you know (even if it involves something very uncomfortable, like the back of a Volkswagen).
I really hope someone reading this is cultured enough to get THAT reference.
Anyways, I have to keep creating because you can't stop the machine (aka my big mouth). You might find me offensive. You might find me to be not offensive enough (God bless you if that's you). You might even find my annoying. That's cool. It's a free country. I find some of y'all annoying, but I give credit where it's due. Those of you out there creating something are truly brave souls. If you're busting your ass towards something you deserve applause.
It's like they say about the fat person at the gym: don't make fun of them.....at least they're putting forth the effort. I'm definitely putting forth the effort. And I'm fat. How convenient.
And if I'm baring my soul with words then I'm NOT sending you dick pics. You don't want to see that. I grew out a belly just to avoid that view.