Sunday, September 5, 2010

On debate, drummer rabbits, and success

Fair warning, in my head, all three of these things are clearly connected, but I have a very strong feeling this will not prove to be the case on screen. Bear with me here.

Yesterday, for a variety of reasons, was the best day I've had in a while. I say a variety, actually it's four. I woke up to discover a Pokemon marathon on, the weather was finally not GRR I SHALL TURN THE EARTH INTO BACON*, I discovered Xabi Alonso has a twitter, and, most importantly, yesterday was Jamie Carragher's testimonial. I've watched testimonial matches in the past, and while they're generally entertaining, it's basically just another match, so going into this, I wasn't really expecting much. Maybe it's just because I've been a Liverpool supporter since I was a little lad, maybe it's because Carra is a legend up with the likes of Rushie and King Kenny and even Shanks, but this match was a real joy to watch. It just sort of exuded happiness; hell, even watching the highlights now, I can't help but smile.

However, for one brief moment after the match finished last night, a certain thought entered my head. "Now if we could just replicate that," I thought. "That" being the 4-1 scoreline in the end. This thought quickly dissipated, and generally I disagree with it now, but at the same time, I had it, and I can think of quite a few people who would still stand by that spot.

You see, Liverpool at the moment are in a bit of an odd position. We are riddled with debt and, as a result, our owners tend to take money from sales and use it to pay off some of the debt rather than reinvest in new players**. On paper, however, the squad doesn't look too bad, and in theory our current lineup has the capacity to perform just as well as two seasons ago, which was a ridiculous, ridiculous thing. However, we're coming off the heels of what was a bit of a bad run. People, meanwhile, have different standards of what it means for Liverpool to be successful. For some people, winning the league title is all that matters. For others, it's collecting silverware. For some, it's Champions League football. For me, success is that we're still playing football.

I'll shut up about the football now and explain how this ties into writing.

One thought which on occasion slips into this little head of mine is the question of whether or not I actually want to be published.

At some point yesterday (I believe it was before the match), Nathan linked to this post on Hannah Moskowitz's blog. I spent varying amounts of time leafing through the comments, because I'm a creeper like that, and someone, somewhere down the line, mentioned something which I've heard people ask a few times in the past. To nutshell the question (because I don't feel like hunting down the exact comment): "If you're just writing for yourself, why would you want to be published?"

As I mentioned just moments ago, this is a thought which actually slips into my head with surprising regularity. My answer always is thus: "Because I need a job, and the only three things I'm good at are piracy, farming, and writing. Piracy is kind of not viable, farming is not the best career path in this nation anymore (which is another rant for another time), and so that leaves writing or doing something I suck balls at and hate". This is very true. Yet it doesn't stop me doubting whether or not I actually do want to be published, and often times, including right now, I don't. I just don't. I would rather write and save it and just enjoy it whenever I decide to read it back to myself. Of course, though, I do want to be published. On the one hand, I want to be published because of aforementioned employment complications. On the other hand, there are times when my mood is just in stark contrast to right now and I'm like, "Fuck yeah! Publication!"

Somehow related to this in my head is that Liverpool style of wildly different ideas of what it means to be a success. Equating to my hopes for Liverpool would be "Just to get published". Champions League, "I don't need to be the best, but I want to do well". Silverware, "I just want to enjoy a bit of success". Premiership, "I want to be the next JK Rowling/Stephenie Meyer".

Part of the problem interfering with Liverpool reaching the heights some people want us to is the fact that Torres has a tendency to pick up nasty injuries (especially on international duty). Complicating my own run towards any level of success would be my own injury problems, so to speak.

Writing is an exhaustive affair. I'm not really sure why, but it is. For some people, however, that doesn't seem to be much of an issue. They write, they take some time off, and they're right back at one hundred per cent with relative quickness. I always seem to take a long time to recover. I give some tremendous efforts, and then I just sort of peter out. In the eighth grade, I wrote my first novel (novella maybe?) in the span of about a week, while we were on break. Afterwards, I struggled to write anything and effectively had writer's block for about two years. Eventually, I came back, warmed myself back up to it, and churned out another novel in about three months. It would have been done a lot faster, but school complicated matters. Ever since, I've been struggling to write, although fortunately without the same level of severity as the last time***. At times, I consider voluntarily just hanging up the cape, so to speak, and waiting for my batteries to recharge on their own, but waiting drives me just as bonkers as not having the capacity of an energizer bunny.

The point of all this, really, is to vent frustrations/angst. Yet let's consider it to be some food for thought. Think about your own doubts, frustrations, et cetera. Think about what writing really means to you; what your goals really are.

**There are also those who clamor for a new stadium, which is just something I am wholly opposed to. 
***Although, June 18th 2010 was the one year point, so while I may be writing with more frequency, it sure as hell hasn't improved that much.


  1. Piracy is TOTALLY viable, I have no idea what you are talking about.


    Um, so, um, yeah. Interesting points there. I've said it so many times it sounds lame but writing is, I guess, theraputic for moi and I don't really tire of it unless I'm, erm, TIRED etc. But I see your point, you have to figure out what it means and why you're doing it.


  2. Hooray for lack of bacon-frying-weather!

    I too have appreciated it. In fact, my windows are open again, finally and at last, without the AC on. It is fabulous.

    Also, yes. It's important to know why you're writing-- but writing is an even less wise career path than farming, unless you're talking about non-fiction, and even that is quickly falling away. Journalism used to be a viable career path for writers, but I would say that isn't a safe bet either anymore. It is definitely something to consider. Perhaps the answer is simply to marry rich.

  3. Oh yeah, I know writing isn't guaranteed stability, but the primary economy of America isn't agriculture anymore, and most crops come from mega-farms owned by big corporations. Small farmers struggle, big time. If I moved to somewhere like New Zealand, it might be possible, because according to a friend who intends to move there NZ is big on farming, but New Zealand is far as fuck away from the rest of the planet.

  4. farming? i had no idea! that's so cool! :)

    here's another reason to try for publication...
    a lot of it is determination and endurance. for every writer that achieves publication there are twenty just as talented authors who quit*.

    if you love writing, just try. you need a back-up plan obvs, but you're clever enough to know that. just don't quit!

    success is that they're still playing football, and success is you're still writing and trying!

    of course, i wish you publication! but pull the pressure off yourself, and just love writing, and maybe those needs for a break won't be so strong??? who knows???

    * all stats are completely fabricated. :)