I’m standing in the middle of nowhere on a road trip. I’m looking at some nothing parking lot in some nothing town at some nothing gas station. Instead of feeling lonely and depressed — like I normally might — I think, “Man, thank God I can write about this.” What do you know ?— here I am doing it.
Being a writer takes all the random meaningless out of my life and puts it all under the umbrella of storytelling. Without writing, I couldn’t justify the way I exist. …
When I was 22, I decided I was going to take a real shot at writing and publishing a book. I had no idea what a never-ending series of humiliations was heading my way.
I’m a firm believer in the positive power of delusion.
I had been writing little stories since I was a kid, but this was the first time that I was going to try to write out my science fiction novel and submit it to publishers. If I knew how little I knew, I don’t know if would have had the will to start. …
I don’t always know when to turn it off. Something that always feels like it wasn’t enough — that I should push myself harder. How much should a person write in a day, anyway?
I had to make rules for myself. Achievable rules allow me to knock off way more “good days” than bad. During this pandemic, I’ve been working my ass off. At one point, I was writing 70 articles a month. That’s probably too much, and I was expecting too much.
Indifference to outcome greatly improves the quality of my output and my mood. Indifference to outcome is…
I did a podcast with an old friend and felt on fire. I was in perfect flow the entire time. At the close, he said something that I incorrectly interpreted as rejection. Because I knew I had given the podcast everything I possibly could have given, I was crushed.
What really happened was he said, “Let’s record another hour!” which I thought meant, “I can’t use this one!” What he really meant was, “That was great; I want more!”
Thinking about it later, I realized that any sign of rejection of my very best would have crushed my spirit. That’s…
“Crowded market” or “competitive field” are just two ways of justifying the self-pitying feeling, “I’ve missed the boat…”
I know because I feel it all the time. We were born into a world set up without us and forced to shoulder our way into a spot. It’s tempting to set a humble aim.
But “humble” actually means self-pity and doubt. No one got anywhere on that steam. What if you claimed your spot at the top?
The “top” isn’t a comparison, either. It’s the best version of you. If we’re comparing to others, we lose the vision. Not all heroes…
My favorite flavor of suffering is the feeling I am currently having: what the hell I’m going to write about today?
I don’t want to underplay this — it sucks. But it sucks a hell of a lot less than not following my dreams at all — which is the other flavor of suffering available to me. I don’t get to choose “no suffering,” so I might as well rip that bandaid off quickly.
I get to pick a flavor of “Suffer-Cola” I can stand.
Whatever your flavor of suffering — art, a new business, someone you want to ask…
“100% return rate,” says the marketing guru, placing the brain implant on the silvery coffee table, which doubled as a hologram projector. “I can’t sell this — I’m sorry.”
The woman on the other side has a hard expression. “I invented a brain implant which makes you completely unlimited via integration with the online superintelligence— and you’re telling me you can’t make a sale.”
The man sighs. “You’re obviously a genius,” he says, “But maybe you don’t know people as well as you think.”
She swells. No one talks to her like this — especially not this snake. …
When I was a kid, one of my nicknames was “Bighead.” Yeah, like the guy from Silicon Valley. It wasn’t just that I had a large skull — it was that I was “heady.” People can feel where energy is in your body and respond to that.
I’ve always been the guy to overanalyze things. I remember trying to understand and break down dancing while at prom.
Writers are often stuck in their heads. But getting in the body makes people feel your writing — rather than think about it. That makes the difference between good and great writing. …
Tommy throws his phone on the passenger seat and then rubs at his chest.
“What sort of life would you like to live?” asks a voice.
The man is tripping balls in his orange Lamborghini. He’s in the desert — he drove east for days. “Let me forget everything — the success, the ease, the fucking ‘winning.’ Let me start from scratch.”
The next life washed over him like a wave. He arrived in it fully grown — in the middle of things — but not questioning how he had gotten there — like a dream where the action begins…
A kid from small-town Louisiana goes to Hollywood. People reflected my doubt back at me. It’s tempting to get mad at them because that’s easier than dealing with the part of me they’re reflecting. Can I do this? Am I delusional?
Letting it go allows me to keep moving forward.
When I decided that I wanted more out of my life — my world shattered into two parts. The light of where I could go and the darkness of the place I might end up.
That’s the fundamental cost of dreaming.
The break happens in my own soul — but…