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You know what? I'm really fucking sick to death of trying to impress people – editors, reviewers, readers, et al. I've been trying since 1992 to impress people, most of whom I do not even know and never will know. And I'm done with it. It's been twenty-five years, and if I haven't managed it yet, it's never going to happen. Whatever this next novel is going to be, it's nothing that's meant to impress anyone, except maybe me. I'm finished playing the game. It's degrading and a considerable source of my anxiety and depression. I have allowed my quest to be a popular, financially successful author to destroy two and a half decades of my life.

So, after the freakishly hot temperatures out west a week ago, after the more recent freakish warmth in NYC, we're supposed to reach 62˚F today. Tomorrow, the high will be twenty degrees of Fahrenheit cooler. But climate change is a lie. Currently, it's 52˚F, with the windchill at 49˚F.

No, I didn't work yesterday. I couldn't get past my own genuine terror. I'm back in news blackout.

Last night, I posted this to Facebook:

The really weird thing is that I transitioned in 1990, when I was living in Alabama. I stayed in the South (Birmingham, Athens, Atlanta) until 2008. I used many public restrooms during that time (theaters, malls, universities, bars, restaurants, libraries, gas stations, what the fuck ever), and really never once had an unpleasant incident. And, fuck, I'm 6'3". It's not like I think I was flawlessly passing all that time. Just no one ever gave me shit. Pun probably not intended.

Buffy Hosey, a first cousin of mine who still lives in Birmingham, replied:

That's because it wasn't an issue for anyone until a bunch of evangelical loud mouths made people THINK that it OUGHT TO be an issue by igniting a bunch of crazy fears and biases that actually don't relate to the bathroom issues at all (YOUR KIDS ARE IN DANGER, etc etc etc). People generally want to coexist and leave each other alone, or at least they used to; these days people- especially middle class white people ("normal" people) are desperately searching for shit to be pissed off about or for ways to say their rights are being infringed upon.

Yes. Exactly.

Today, I'm going to go Outside. I haven't left the house since February 10th, nine days ago. And maybe afterwards Spooky and I will read through Chapter One.

Resistance, Peace, and Compassion,
Aunt Beast


( 5 comments — Have your say! )
Eric Cantwell
Feb. 19th, 2017 05:50 pm (UTC)
Good for you. Forget pleasing people, it's a no-win game. Write whatever the hell you want.
Feb. 19th, 2017 07:13 pm (UTC)
Whatever this next novel is going to be, it's nothing that's meant to impress anyone, except maybe me. I'm finished playing the game.

I think this is an excellent plan.

Also, very good title quote.
Feb. 19th, 2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
letting go

Part of how an individual takes on personal power is by letting go of attempts to align with power structures such as publishers. In the end your work is all about you having something to say as a writer, it's really not about your work pleasing strangers or being a good product/vehicle even if the product is a perspective or argument about specific ideas or issues. Once you let go you may discover a new freedom to reach deeper, go further, rise higher and escape the boundaries of the constraints of publishing authority. Again, congratulations!!!
Feb. 19th, 2017 11:56 pm (UTC)
I think that's exactly the mode from which any artist should work from. You please yourself. Just be careful of that perfectionist that lurks in all of us. Hoping outside gives you some peace so you can do what you need to do to take care of you and yours.
Feb. 20th, 2017 09:16 am (UTC)
"You can't save your ass and your face at the same time"

"If you gotta play at garden parties
I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang
I'd rather drive a truck

But it's all right now,
I've learned my lesson well
You see, you can't please everyone,
so you've got to please yourself"

Edited at 2017-02-20 09:17 am (UTC)
( 5 comments — Have your say! )