Jul 29, 2022
5 mins read
This is how strange a book I'm reading while I'm going to bed...
"What you do is you hide your deep need to hide, and you do this out of the need to appear to other people as if you have the strength not to care how you appear to others. You stick your hideous face right in there into the wine-tasting crowd's visual meatgrinder, you smile so wide it hurts and put out your hand and are extra gregarious and outgoing and exert yourself to appear totally unaware of the facial struggles of people who are trying not to wince or stare or give away the fact that they can see that you're hideously, improbably deformed. You feign acceptance of your deformity. You take your desire to hide and conceal it under a mask of acceptance.'
'Use less words.'" - Infinite Jest written by David Foster Wallace
What in the actual fuck did we just read? A rambling man, rambling about rambling, about rambling. My man! Apparently, I'm not the only one who takes that writing style. No, no no, it's essentially a really long, dialogue-ish way for the phrase we've all heard before, "fake it 'til you make it."
This was one of those things that I read last night and it made so much goddamned sense that it actually woke me up at 12:50am while I was reading it. It gave me a small adrenaline spike at nearly 1am which is not helpful when trying to sleep. It led to some wild and vivid dreams though. Have you ever had a backflip competition with Bob Marley in your dreams. QUITE the experience. But really, this is exactly when I've been going through this week. Exposing my writing, myself, my soul (how fucking cliche) to the world and having to say, "I belong here and I don't care about your judgement."
Regardless of how I appear, or rather, how I THINK I appear, I smile so hard that it forces everyone to think "He belongs" in a crowd of nose-up wine tasters. They can think what they want, but I'm unaffected by it because I accept myself... or appear to accept myself. This might be how we look at showing our art to other artists and other people. Deep down, everyone is an artist. Have you ever seen baristas make some coffee look like some wild Mona Lisa? Let's go back to the movie Superbad. NOW, think of the end credits. Yup, dick drawings are art, change my mind. Honestly, it inspired me to draw more tasteful and creative dicks. Still can't get all the veins juuuust right, but it's a game of constant improvement, right?
With the support of a few friends pumping you up and telling you that you need to smile super hard, extend your hand, and hide your need to hide... you can walk in and own the room. You start to feel okay exposing yourself to everyone (niiiiiice) and showing what you have to offer. It's like this really weird answer to the "Imposter Syndrome" that I'm sure most of us have heard of. Then again, this is the 2-way street!
We're looking at this crowd of artists, business owners, dick drawers and going "Oh wow, they're so incredibly talented, I'm not like them." This is a fallacy that some elementary/middle school/high school bully put in our heads. They're not some special snowflake that was born with something no one else has (there are exceptions to this, obviously. Did you know that the ACTUAL Rainman was able to read with his eyes separately?! Left page with left eye, right page with right eye). Those "wine tasters" are doing the same shit we are, but have been doing it for longer. They're hiding their need to hide, or have been doing it so long they forgot that's what they were doing. Now they just "do it." Nike was on to something.
"Use less words." The other character says.
I really wish the author took that to heart because this book is unnecessarily lengthy and wordy as a Koffee Talk with Kris..........................
But the beauty of "use less words" is something that all intelligent people should be able to do. If you're some brilliant mind, then your job should be to express your abstract ideas in less words. No one wants to read something that's 80 pages long when 5 could have sufficed. Personally, I end up writing way more than I actually publish, just because there's no need and it just makes the writing jumbled up nonsense. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they use the "and like" or some phrase of that sort over and over and over and over to the point where you just start counting? "I was like ______ and she was like ________ and like..." I'm not proud of it, but I've literally pushed them on the back like an astronaut taking a space walk, pushing off of them for distance. They might be smart in their own way, like finger painting or something...
TL;DR - What this boils down to is that you have something to offer. I don't know what that is unless you've already showed your cards. It took me 36 years (almost 37) to really start to drop my walls and say "Fuck it," and push my chips in. We all should feel as if we belong. If your art really isn't that good and has a ways to go or has little substance, then you won't have a following, but that's FINE. Keep working at it, make it better, keep grinding, KEEP SHOWING US. Put it out there. Don't beg for attention though, that's just gross....................
But remember, it's YOUR job to sharpen your sword for battle, not ours. I'm sharpening mine, I have been for years. I just didn't take 40 selfies and constantly tell the world "LOOK WHAT I'M DOING. CHECK OUT MY ONLYFANS. *SELFIE SNAPCHAT INSTAGRAM*" I've had fun writing forever and it's been a healthy journey making me more sane... I think. Yours will be too, maybe. And if you're already in the wine-tasting group reading this, then I extend my hand with a big smile and ask you politely, "Hey, this merlot is delicious. Would you like to see my dick-drawing collection?"