The funny thing about obscurity is that you get very comfortable in it.
It's very tempting to wallow where nobody can see you.
I've had opportunities to make a decent living by writing this past year. It wasn't even really hard, either -- well, maybe I had my nose to the grinder for a little while, because when I was writing Iohanne
I was also working on two paid jobs at the same time.
Both of those jobs were completed by December. Got paid in full by February for both of them. One of them I cannot talk about for the foreseeable future because I'm under NDA, and the other is a project to which I have absolutely zero interest
in letting my common aliases be attached.
You might say I'm embarrassed.
I'm absolutely embarrassed.
A job is a job,
And I had no moral qualms with that job,
But still, it's rather embarrassing to think I could even be capable of penning such a thing.
I even cannot talk about my involvement in the other project for another two years, and by now I suspect that the entire thing is dead anyway. For all the good that does me, here I am, with nothing to show for it other than a fistful of dollars.
Alas, shame is not a positive trait for one who seeks to establish a brand.
Embarrassment is poison to a writer; it's fear, after all. Surviving (and thriving) as a writer on the market requires you to have a certain sense of nerve -- a willingness to inconvenience others with your presence. To make your mark you must do such unlikable things as flaunt your skills, however mediocre they may be, or otherwise have people sing your own praises in your stead. The ideal is to peacock your talent as if accidentally, so as to to maintain your humility. People respect a humble genius. Nobody likes the guy who wants to remind you at every turn that his presence is a glowing boon. It's especially worse if that guy is also atrociously bad at what he does.
Yet, embarrassment comes easily to me these days. I'm a far-cry from how I used to be, in that respect. Ten years ago, when I decided to dedicate more of my free-time into writing than gaming, I had the faintest inkling of a sense of shame that perhaps kept me under restraint, if only vaguely. Yet I was a tempestuous little brat, and sure enough my ego swelled beyond its reach. I used to idealize the courage to say whatever crossed one's mind. I was very fortunate that, despite some of the company I kept, I was not particularly controversial. Still, I fully and eagerly scared people off with that attitude.
And now... yes, indeed: looking back at it, I cannot help but be deeply, terribly, frighteningly embarrassed at the nerve I exhibited.
Children seldom realize how trivial their problems are.
I deleted more than a handful of items from this gallery a couple weeks ago, because I couldn't bear to be reminded of just how stupendously foolish I had been, once. There will likely be more deletions at some point; it depends on how afraid I am of a potential client coming across my feverish adolescent frivolities.
I already regret doing it, of course. I have always believed that having a record of one's actions -- where you come from, where you went, and where you're going -- keeps one from becoming arrogant in their accomplishments.
Moreover, it's not just an exercise in maintaining humility by way of humiliation: that trail of sweat, tears and toil is a biography. I've burned pages out of my own history. And now, quite counterproductive to the point, I already feel ashamed of myself for having tried to shave away at my shame.What an absolute shame
People should not be embarrassed by the folly of their adolescence. Childhood is always a mistake. Everyone has bad memories of it. Sometimes the bad memories don't end at the terminating point between youth and adulthood -- they certainly don't for me. The bad decisions pile up like bad debt. I for one regret a lot of things I've done, things I've said, and things I've done and said to other people.
But as living breathing human beings we are uniquely possessed of the capacity to change of our own volition. More so than our triumphs, our mistakes shape who and what we are. Trepidation at the prospect of failure is the fear of life, for life is an unending flow of embarrassment. The fact that we live means that we have room to reflect and try again, and perhaps next time the variables will align, and we will do better, and we will do so at just the right time, and we will succeed. Success is, after all, a matter of circumstances.
I failed to become a sensational writer by my 20's. Most of what core audience I had amassed is gone.
So I'll have to start again.
Do not hide behind your fear of embarrassment. Be proud of what you accomplish. Never disavow your own creations.
Be proud of yourself and all you can achieve.
More is on the way. I've just been very busy drumming up money for a special visit to Sweden this Summer. I'm finally going to meet some of my closest, oldest friends, and along the way I'll get to enjoy some of the northern scenery. Words cannot express how grateful to them I am for putting up with me over the last decade.
God, it feels like my life has been on hold for years.Feel free to follow me on Twitter
and you too shall have your timeline buried in model-making and lengthy complaints about video games.