I could have written this blog about a book coming out … maybe book 3 in my Captain Shelby Trilogy. Would it matter? I mean, what would make you want to read it? Why should I write it? Sure, maybe a few readers might remember Pelican Bay because it rose a little in the literary scheme of things; but only a few would want another book. Or, better said, with all the books out there, only a few would care.
Does this mean I don’t write it?
I could put a post on Twitter about a book and it would disappear within minutes, drifting away immediately down the gaping, mighty river with the rest of the flotsam of well-intended obscurity. In fact, unless a Twitter post is even remotely viral, one’s time might be better spent sitting and throwing pencils up into one of those cheap ceilings like Fox Moulder taking a break from an X-File.
Does this mean I no longer post on Twitter?
I could post a poem on Facebook, or maybe a digital painting, about a book, and I can count on the same small group of friends to like it. For that moment, I know I’m a ghost that can appear to a few people. For a moment’s rush, I feel alive. Corporeal for a fleeting instant. Unfortunately, unless my Facebook post is contagious, outrageous in some way, or announces some great personal news or, sadly, maybe even a tragedy, it won’t receive many likes.
Does this mean I don’t post on Facebook?
I could write a song and make a music video for it. Some will view it. I can enter it in contests around the world, perform it at songwriter nights, local music festivals, put it on CD Baby (the biggest distributor of indie music in the world), even submit it to publishers. The odds are, no matter how good the song, most will ignore it. For a song to be listened to on any substantive scale, it must be quite catchy … infectious. Those songs aren’t easy to write. I wrote a tribute song for Leonard Nimoy which many thought was pretty good, but it’s only received a few hundred views.
Does this mean I don’t write songs?
I will continue writing this blog every Friday, posting on social media, writing novels (don’t be surprised if that Captain Shelby Trilogy book 3 doesn’t pop up when you least expect it), writing songs, and making better and better music videos.
You know why? Because I’ve lost my writer’s faith.
Yes. That’s right. I said it. It had to happen eventually.
And that’s a good thing.
I’ve realized that my faith was in the wrong place; it was located in the belief I’d be recognized by others, rather than within the belief that I must, every day, recognize myself. I recognize that the passion of creating art and sharing it with the world, to add whatever meaning to it I can, is my lifeblood; it’s what makes life worth living for me. That’s why I do it. I don’t do it for you, or anyone else in particular. And, most importantly, I don’t do it to be recognized.
Yes, I am a ghost and happy for it! I will reach deeper and deeper into my soul for the rest of my life to create the best art that I can. I’ll create art that haunts the world, tickles the back of your necks and makes your hair stand up, makes you dance even though you don’t know why, makes you feel that the book your reading is another person in the room with you.
I will celebrate being nothing. Because now I know that I’d rather be nothing, then give up my freedom, all that I am, to be crowned something by anyone other than myself. For crowns can be taken away … but I am here to stay.