So, that thing I wrote yesterday about quality? Pfft, fuhgeddaboutit.
Today, I had nothing to eat for 9 hours and thought it’d be wise to drink wine. Now, writing for you (because I love you so) seems brilliant.
This, or I piss off Twitter. Every now and then it’s fun to memorialize stupidity as a whole, so, uh, HI.
I sent a Not-a-Book-Proposal to a literary agent. Apparently it’s impossible to get a literary agent in Vancouver, so I’m totally comfortable with failing in Mission: Get A Literary Agent. Like, t-o-t-a-l-l-y.
But then again? I feel pretty good. I do! I do. It wasn’t a book proposal, but it was proposal about a book I proposed; just, you know, done my way.
Even if it’s rejected, just hitting “send” was a major accomplishment. Huge.
I packaged up my dream into a little box, tied it with a bow, and sent it into the great unknown, to a pretty not-insignificant agent I’d be lucky to land. THAT deserves celebrating.
I jumped, man. I jumped MY way. Cue Sinatra!
I don’t want success and fame if it comes at the price of bending over and taking it before I kiss every ass in sight, okay? I want to be myself. Be nice, but not pull punches. I wanna do whatever whimsy hits me. I don’t want to worry about consequences or overthink moves.
I can’t be a sell-out, I don’t roll that way. My friends would die laughing at the proposition of me trying to sell shit I don’t believe in. You have no idea.
For years, I’ve been told there was a “process” to success in writing. People you had to please, things you had to do.
Well, a few years ago all I did was write well for a few months, with no apologies, and it did me wonders. Somewhere deep inside I think craft matters more than promotion, and so do integrity and individuality, and seeking success the “tried and true” way ain’t individual and isn’t a ringing endorsement of one’s integrity.
But, you know, have at it, if that’s how you go.
Whatever happens, I know it’s ALL on me and I won’t have to wonder what woulda happened if I followed my instincts.
That’s its own reward. If you’re me, anyhow.
I was terrified today because I know nothing about book proposals.
Know what I had down in my calendar to do THIS week? “Read about Larsen’s book about book proposals.” I was gonna START that today. Know what I finished and hit send on today at 3:30? Right, a totally winged, improvised, “well, that looks right” version of a book proposal I sorta hashed out in an email with the agent then went rogue on.
If, by some intergalactic long-shot, I should happen to land the agent, you know what probably would be the reason? That it was completely against type. I dunno. Whatever. I did the best *I* know how to do, and I’m half-drunk tonight out of contentment and satisfaction with myself, not stress and worry.
Fuck it, man. You do what you can, and if you fail, you plan “B” it. That’s life lived the fun way.
I’m 36. I’ve wanted to write a book since I was 15. The closest I came was in ’96, when I did a novel-writing workshop and really got somewhere with a basic idea, but never figured out the endgame of my plot.
My then-writing teacher, Maureen Medved, who’s had a movie made of her novel Tracey Fragments, said I wrote stories like Denis Johnson, the awesome author behind Jesus’s Son — the book/movie. Which is to say my fiction is really dark and harrowing, with a cruel psychological bent and scarcity of language and edgy vernacular. Or something.
I haven’t written fiction since, aside from a few stories. But I’ll go back there. Someplace real, real dark. Someday. Likely sooner than later, too. I think the drama needs to end in my life first before I turn to creating more of it at will.
The last 10 days have been monumental for me.
Huge. Monster. Unparalleled.
I’ve spent so long just trying to survive in life that I forgot how to get ahead.
I don’t want to try and explain that right now, but know that when I hit that last period, my eyes were overcome with tears. It has been many, many very long, very hard years. Any successes or moments of awesomeness I have had of late, I’ve earned the hard way.
But, no, I don’t want to explain that right now. I’ve spent five years writing about it.
The last 10 days, though? That’s new. Luck, fortune, validation, proving things to myself, conquering lifetime fears, being completely myself without apologies? Um, yeah. New.
Sending a book proposal today was the single most optimistic, hopeful act I have ever committed in my life. Ever.
It’s the biggest stamp of faith I’ve ever put on myself. Ever.
It is absolutely monstrous. Schwing.
100% about me. E-e-k.
It makes me laugh, really. My entire life has been governed by my insecurities. Others would probably think I’m cocky or arrogant, because I write so much about myself or tweet constantly. And that makes me laugh really hard.
It’s a strange paradox. Yeah, I think I’m amusing. But there’s only so far I think that gets me, and there’s only so good that I think am. It’s one thing to have an idea of what you might be capable of, but a whole ‘nother one to go there in reality.
I consider my wit to be kind of like a localized weather phenomenon. Think of it as that storm that blows over your neighbourhood. For a moment: Relevant. Then, poof, gone.
That’s not running myself down, that’s just acknowledging that it’s a big, big world filled with much to be fascinated by.
I took that big chance and tonight I get to enjoy the intrigue. Was it good? Did he like it? Do I get a lollipop? Stay tuned.
Tonight, that’s all that counts. I took the leap, the one I’ve been avoiding for 15 years.
About motherfucking time.
Photo from Skydive Virginia.