Can We Be Clear?

Mai Ling uses psionic ninja powers to separate the flowers from the weeds, a thing that is not easy to do.

I suppose that if I were to be insightfully honest for a moment, I would have to admit that I am a failed novelist. If you take “success” as meaning “financial success”, the fact that I only make less than five dollars a month for my writing means I am a failure at it. If you specify that success means my books find readers, then evidence would suggest that my books are mostly ignored. A majority of those who have responded favorably to my work are actually members of the nudist community on Twitter. I admit that I have cultivated that a bit with nudist characters in about a fourth of my books. But that is a result of having experienced fascinating people and situations that I felt I had to write about because I happened to meet, totally by chance, interesting nudists in real life.

I have lost a lot of writing-community followers on Twitter because of my interactions with Twitter nudists. My work gets dismissed on occasion because your standard teacher-turned-writer on Twitter, usually female and usually fundamentalist Christian, doesn’t want to be contaminated by sinful nudist associations. Ah, such a life. But I don’t wish to destroy anyone’s faith in a God who will apparently burn them for an eternity in Hell if they are tempted to frolic with no clothes on. I would rather be blocked by them on Twitter than have them give up on whatever paradise they are pursuing.

But I am basically on the Brad Bird side of the argument about whether or not you can choose to be a hero even if others will see you as a monster. My fiction does not cause demonic possession and probably does not cause spontaneous bouts of joyful nudism either. Even my werewolf story, which was too much for one potential reviewer, does not have actual werewolves in it. Although it does describe some things that really happened to me as a child in a fictionalized, sort-of-truthful way.

So, by those criteria, I judge myself to be a failed writer.

But I am definitely not giving up on writing in despair. Those were never the reasons I wrote novels to begin with.

I write because I have something to say to the world and stories to tell. And I mean to have my say, even if the world is too stone-deaf and stupefied to listen.

I have things to say about living and learning.

I have things to say about finding love, and losing love, and finding it again.

I have things to say about how I think the world works, and why I’m pretty sure I’m completely wrong about all of that. And what I intend to do about it.

To that end, I have started writing a book full of essays like the stuff and garbage and lovely wisdom I write in this goofy little blog. And I shall call it Laughing Blue. Because, you know, nobody is going to read it anyway, and I can call it whatever the heck I want to call it.


Filed under autobiography, blog posting, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, irony, philosophy

2 responses to “Can We Be Clear?

  1. If you consider yourself to be a failed writer, so be it. I have to wonder, though, at the possibility that success in writing is not measured by the amount of money you make from doing it. Success in writing is whatever you perceive and/or think it to be. You know as well as anybody that people’s opinions of something you have written is almost completely subjective. You also know that, sometimes, just writing something is… necessary.
    Following that line of thinking, I would contend that if you have just one fan (that is not you, of course) of something you have written, then you have been successful. I would also say that if you have garnered any sort of reaction – good or bad – to your writing, there is some degree of success there as well. First, someone read your content besides you. That means they took the time to read your thoughts and ideas. Second, they had a reaction to it. Whether they loved it, hated it, or somewhere in the middle, you were successful in getting them to react.
    I won’t lie. I am not a huge fan of your writing. I have never read any of your novels, and I disagree with some of what you have written in your blog since I started following it. In spite of that, I don’t see a failure at writing here. Even though I disagree with some of your stuff (including your self-proclamation that you have “failed” as a writer), I still continue to read some of your content. Is that not some sort of success on your part?

    • That is a very good point. There are some nudists who love my work. And you know that blog writing is more like pre-writing than finished writing. I like to think I have some ability to write well, even though I do not write well every day. I appreciate the amount of effort you put into disagreeing with me that I am a failed writer. But I did list a few reasons why I also don’t believe I have failed.

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