The rockstar life is filled with ups and downs. That's the key to remember. It can't always be drunken orgies backstage after a killer gig. Sometimes it's vomiting on the sidewalk, people all sidestepping around you. Or even sometimes it's being stone cold sober, despite your best efforts, and wandering about feeling lost and empty.
It's always the expectations that ruin my days. I expect to zig and instead life zags, and I get frustrated at the unexpected disappointment. It's life's random surprises that really make or break you. The falls just keep you humble and on the right track I suppose.
For example, I'm sitting here out in Dirty Jerzee, lounging by the pool, and it's not really hot enough to actually jump in. Three days earlier I was trapped, sweating profusely and dying for this 80 degree weather.
Sometimes the words come and it feels like I'm channeling some foreign frequency that's just pouring the words from my fingertips. The other times I hate the words, I hate the ideas, and it all seems like a terrible waste of time. It's this polarity in the creative process that really interests me. It's in all aspects of life it seems. That roller coaster ride along the peaks and valleys of our emotional experience.
I was thinking about audiences and their relationship to creators. We, as creative individuals, have this burning desire to create some sort of externalization of our pain, our joy, our hopes. Sort of an emotional surgical procedure, sculpting these feelings into a work that stands as part of us, but yet a part removed.
Then we present it to the audience. They experience it, then process it and hopefully applaud, or else throw tomatoes, or, even worse, walk away in indifference. This transaction of meaning and expression opens up all sorts of games where insecurity messes with our minds. The applause seems to mean validation, an acceptance of our darkest or brightest bits. But this is where things go bad.
It became like a drug to me. I'd post a new short story, or essay, or photos, or whatever up on my online journal Now's The Time and I would (and still do) obsessively check who had visited and what comments they may have left.
The posts I just did for the hell of it were the ones that got the responses, just as inevitably the posts I made where I felt strongly about the results and just knew someone would get it and proclaim my greatness, there would be no comments at all.
This led me to a love-hate relationship with my readers. I was dependent on them, living for their acceptance, and I hated them (myself) for needing it so desperately. Eventually I found a balance where I didn't let myself get down about the lack of comments, and instead just kept at it. The more I did this, the more comments would randomly appear.
This carried through to other parts of my life and soon enough I started getting praise from family and friends that I never imagined would, or could, get me. And maybe that's not the point. They don't need to understand me. Or even like me really. The more I create for me, the more I change and grow. The more this happens, the more people will recognize it, and the less I need it.
Who do we create for? Why do we create at all? Are we motivated through early praise of our individual skills? Do we have a calling or inclination towards a specific medium? It's probably just me over-thinking it all, but for some reason I just can't stop…
I awoke the next morning, my fingers reaching along my neck as I felt the sharp point of the barb. Seems like someone did me the favor of shooting me with that emergency tranquilizer gun I keep handy for just such an emergency.
Bartender, gimme a pint. Cheers!
For more information on my works:
The graphic novel I'm working on with Chris Chua.
It's a kung fu, revenge story, with a sci-fi/fantasy twist. Or as Chris and I like to say, it's kung fu abstrACTION, philosophical pulp.
THE TOWER OF BRAHMA
A pseudo-experimental novel that attempts to unravel my identity through my various character archetypes.
Two agents seek to end the world as we know it using the ancient puzzle, the Tower of Brahma.
Alternating takes on superhero fiction through a series of short stories that have a running, evolving storyline.
Charles Crown, aka Thrust, aka the Kinetic Kid, is trying to save humanity from itself, unfortunately the closer he gets to figuring himself out, the more reality fragments all around him.
Feel free to comment…or not. Up to you.