I haven’t been feeling so well, lately. I think I’ve posted about that a few times here. It’s still true. On one hand, I actually do feel motivated and interested in doing work on my furniture, on my art project, whatever, something. But it’s a little too cold right now. It’s the middle of the night. I’m a little tired, but … I don’t think I’d actually sleep if I laid down right now. It’s only one AM. I didn’t get to sleep yesterday until almost six AM because that silly art project was keeping me up. I suppose there’s some computer work I could do on it for the three layers that come after the first layer of paint. That is, the stencils need to de designed. But I wanted all your negative words for GWB for that part, and got zero. Zero. None. Sigh. I guess I’ll go search the internet and get words from other sources. I just … I thought you people had opinions of some sort.
I keep watching TV. Distracting myself, really. I’m on the last disc of QAF Season 2 just now. I think I’ll bump Season 3 up my netflix queue, watch it next week. I should have 21 Grams on Wednesday (today, I guess) and Session 9 and Donnie Darko on Thursday if things arrive as expected. All out again on Friday, of course, so whatever’s next on my queue should be here before the end of next week, right? More distractions, more distractions, more distractions. I need them, or at least I feel like I do.
TV shows… I’m watching Alias again, and tonight I started watching a new show, Century City, a legal drama set 25 years or so in the future. It’s okay so far. Not excessively compelling. Plus I can watch Adult Swim now, which is nice. South Park is still good. Chapelle’s Show still isn’t. Good Eats is still good eats, though I’m not really sure when to tune in. Stargate is … well, I’m trying to get into it, since my dad likes to come up and watch it. I’ve got the first several seasons in my queue… not close to the top, I’ve got until summer before the new show starts, but … I’ll try to watch it all before then. And Mondays and Fridays, too, when it actually comes on TV. The Daily Show about every other day. And so much random stuff I don’t even know what it all is…
And I still try to leave the TV off sometimes, but … in the middle of the night when it’s watching TV or writing, when the silence and the pressure is more depressing than motivating, I turn on the tube. Run music, run DVDs, run something, anything, to keep my mind just a little too busy.
What am I trying to escape?
My own sense of … my inability to succeed?
Gnawing self-doubt. Whose idea was this? I’m supposed to be confident.
But how can I go on in confidence when I meet with failure? I suppose it’s just a matter of how one defines and measures success. Is success in following my dreams and completing my projects or in selling them and getting recognition and praise? If I go so far as to envision my work, is that far enough? If I go so far as to attempt to create my vision, is that far enough? If I go so far as to bring my creations to completion, is that far enough? If I go so far as to put my work up for public display and consumption, is that far enough? Or does it have to sell, too? Do people have to like it, to want it, to buy it, or do I just have to make it? Where does success live? Where does confidence feed? What’s the average life span of doubt?
I wrote one novel and I thought it would help me. I thought having finished one novel would give me confidence. Make the next one easier. But then no one bought the novel. (Zoe, yes, thank you. Angela, thank you for your help. Nanda, thanks again for pre-ordering.) Okay, so three people bought the novel. Before it was done. And zero people bought the novel after it was done. Zero is as small a number as there is. Fuck. So if no one wants to read the first one, how many would want to read the second one? How many days, weeks, months should I put into each novel?
(Wait, wait, someone commented! Damnit! They didn’t have any synonyms. Fuck. Anyone else getting errors on comments? If so, try commenting in a pop-up window!)
How much time should I spend on each project that’ll just end up piled in a corner somewhere or collecting electron dust on a server somewhere? Have I posted about how my father has basically told me that my artwork doesn’t belong in our store, shouldn’t be for sale? That without actually putting his foot down and telling me I can’t, he’s told me I can’t re-hang my art, put it up for sale. That’s how much he doesn’t like it. Not sure I blame him, but … I did sell four pieces last year. That’s not too bad, I suppose. All of them were from 2003, a year in which I only completed a dozen pieces, so I suppose I sold a full third of my new work last year…
…ah, the joy of math and statistics. Even with simple situations, there’s a way to cast things in a positive light.
1/3 of all new pieces sold in 2003. Yay!
Of course, I made a whopping $395 between the four.
Maybe if I double my output and double or quadruple my prices… I can drum up some more interest. Apparently people like things better when they cost more. And apparently people like my newer work more than my older stuff.
Meh. I’m obviously still working on new stuff. I can’t help it. Hopefully it won’t go the other way during Focus On: Art and I won’t find myself writing a novel instead of painting. Or maybe that’ll be fine. Maybe I’m destined to be unable to self-motivate, but will be vastly successful when I just bow to the whims of my own innate creative drives. At least if you measure success by work completed instead of work sold. Of course, if I double my output and my prices and continue to sell one in three paintings I do, I’ll make some reasonable money this year from my art.
And if we count each of my hand-crafted original pieces of furniture art, I’ll be living off the income from my art … any time now. I’ve decided to serialize them on the same numbering scheme as my paintings and upcoming sculptures. Because really, each piece is a sculpture, right? Three-dimensional art that happens to be functional. Speaking of which, I guess I need to get my hands on some expanding foam. But that is a story for another day.
Which brings up a question I don’t actually expect anyone to answer (more on that later) about my posts: How about detailed posts about all my art creation, the entire process for each piece from beginning to end and everything in between? I’ve been writing more and more about the process of working on the furniture, and I’ve now also posted most of the (vague, general) information about the art I’m working on right now, but … should I post that stuff? Should I reveal my entire process, step by step? Would you read it, anyway? Is it interesting? Reading about computer work on an image, about the techniques I try to use to move my ideas from my head to the final output, through the computer, the printer, the use of power tools and rolls and rolls of tape and strange, new uses for art supplies I simply haven’t taken a class on yet? DO you want that?
Okay, and now on the topic of not getting comments. I think I’ve determined or realized that as long as this site is more of a personal journal than a traditional “blog”, the sort of comments I get are fairly reasonable. Usually just a few friendly words from my closest friends and a few ridiculous comments from random people I don’t know and who usually didn’t understand what I said. I don’t have an “active commenting community” because … I don’t know, I’m not a part of an active social community. I have no idea who the 1k+ people who read the site every day are, or why they don’t comment, and it doesn’t matter.
Sure, I’ll upgrade to MT 3.0 and utilize TypeKey to help handle comments more effectively. Why not? But I’m not one of those sites that gets hundreds of comments on each and every post and I’m not one of the sites popular enough to garner thousands of SPAM comments. I’m not dying for it. I’ll probably wait a couple/few weeks after the release, let all those eager people find the database-destroying bugs… or how wonderful it is … whatever. The new version has Atom templates built in. Maybe that’ll motivate me to write a more multi-talented aggregator.
Okay, I’m rambling now. Every topic under the sun. Furniture, art, writing, self-doubt, self-confidence, typewriters and the topic I started with: TV. I’m now into the last episode of QAF Season 2. It’s been distracting me. I know I haven’t written very many words here, though I do feel like I’ve at least tried to say some important things. I’m not tired… it’s 4AM, I’m out of QAF, I don’t really want to keep writing here, I don’t really want to work on the next computer part of the art project until I have the words for it … Maybe I’ll clear off part of the table and see if I can find the words to write something. Type something. Though that would wake Heath up again, and he’s had a restless night.
I sortof resent that I feel like I’m not allowed to use my typewriters when I want to. Except that since I resent my own feeling, I can’t resent Heath for sleeping, I can only make myself feel bad about a feeling. Feelings creating feelings creating feelings.
I really like typewriters. I seem to have eight of them, now. Eight manual typewriters. Two Remingtons I don’t care much for and couldn’t sell. Two Underwoods that are pretty good workhorses. A Smith-Corona that I really, really like, that I wrote most of a novel on, and plan to use again. An Olympia that types all in script, which is great and in amazing condition, but which only fits projects of certain moods. A new (to me) Olivetti, the most compact of the portables (all the ones I’ve listed so far are portables), and though it lacks tabbing, I’m learning to like it a lot. Oh, and a Royal. The Royal is a desktop typewriter, a behemoth of a machine, and not in good condition. It’s even missing a keycap. I’m going to get rid of it. But then I’ll still have seven manual typewriters. Five of which I really, really like writing on.
Like… writing here flows, but in a certain voice, a personal voice with a particular (imagined) audience. I’m not particularly … good at … trying to write in other modes here. Re-typing, re-writing, editing, proofing, all seem to work pretty good on the computer, but as far as original writing goes, it all seems to come out like this.
And on paper, with a pen, I seem to do pretty well sometimes. Excellent letters, sometimes fantastic short fiction, sometimes brief additions, notes, outlines, &c. regarding larger works of fiction. Poetry, sure, paper is the medium.
And on the typewriter, once I get started I can write and write and write… and it’s like magic. When I’m typing away at a typewriter, it’s like I’m discovering the story only as I read it on the page… I often find myself looking up to find whole pages or stacks of pages written, hours disappeared without having noticed it, like when I’m reading a good book and get sucked in. It’s fantastic. I can’t properly describe it. Even when I try to write something else, it goes the way of fiction. I’ll start a page writing about what’s going on in my life at the moment or like a journal entry, and I’ll end up writing someone else’s story, something totally unexpected. Just having my fingers punching away at the keys is like tapping into an unseen force.
And I’m not allowed to do it during my prime hours, the middle of the night, because Heath is sleeping. It gives him strange dreams or wakes him. And he needs his sleep to do well in school. It’s important. So it trumps my writing, which is … well, considering I’m losing money on all three copies of my first novel that sold, not to mention all the time I put into it … my writing is only a hobby. High School takes precedence.
So… maybe I’ll go masturbate for a couple of hours until I pass out. Or design yet another board game (did I mention the other three?). Or figure out a better idea for an ‘experimental’ comic, because the one I was working on before has stalled. Or … something. Of course, I haven’t masturbated in … what looks like a long-ish time for me. I normally like to do it most every day, averaging about six throws a week. And here’s a sign my depression is getting worse before it gets better: I don’t know when the last time I masturbated was. Could be a week ago, maybe ten days… I don’t exactly mark my calendar. Loss of libido. Not happy about it. Tried to get aroused the other day and … couldn’t manage… got distracted/depressed by other things on my mind. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like this is the sort of thing you wish I wouldn’t say, but on the other hand, it’s on my mind, it’s important to me, and you don’t have to read the site if you don’t want to. And as if to justify masturbation, here’s a reminder: I’ve been single for over six years and have kissed only one person in the last … three, at least, and just that one time last year at that. Masturbation: It’s what I’ve got.
And now, I go to it. Or at least to perhaps try. Good day.