I love you all. I think I pronounced that correctly.

Listening to Tom Waits this morning.

I know, I know, darlings, not everyone’s cup of tea. He’s not tea, to me, either — he’s like Amaretto and orange liqueur and tea… like blueberry tea, I suppose.

I get it.

I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, either. Sometimes I can be too strong, too harsh tasting. But to some, I’m just the right mix. To some, I’m best served fresh, with perhaps a twist of lime to take away the bitterness. For some, a sprig of cilantro, and for others, cilantro would just ruin the whole thing (I’m looking at you, A.W.).

I’m not well right now. I’ve come to grips with that. So I’m going to avoid saying some of the awful, angry, ugly things that popped into my head this morning. Instead, I’m going to say that I took a trip down amnesia lane this morning, going through some old posts where people said all sorts of lovely things about me — Helena, mostly, but me, too.

It felt nice. Thank you all again.

I’m so wary of becoming defined by my depression. It’s funny, though, that it’s what I can write so passionately about — my malaise with the world. Seeing the world through shit-stained glasses. (How’s that for a visual, darlings?)

Anyway, fuck all that.

I’ve said it before — to you all, as well as to myself — the hardest thing in the world when it comes to being any sort of artist is finding a receptive room in which to shout into. I’m an idiot when it comes to selectivity — I want everyone to love me, unrealistically so. I’m weird. I know I’m weird. I wear my weirdness on my sleeve for birds to peck at. I crib lines from Shakespeare or Bugs Bunny with equal gravity. To some, I am a delicious dessert, to others, I am the strange taste in their mouth that they need to wash out with a cheap domestic draft. Still others find my food metaphors unsettling.

Does he think we want to eat him? Can’t he just speak plainly? I’m hungry. Anyone wanna order a pizza? No olives, otherwise, I’m good. Yeah, I have cash. Get some crazy bread, too, I’m suddenly starving. No, we’ve got beer here. Don’t forget the dipping sauce. Do you think this segue has gone on too long? Yeah, me too.

Anyhow, my point is this — and see if you find yourself in the same boat as me — when I first started out, I didn’t care who read me, but that didn’t last. Soon, I started trying to court followers, started trying to find a community of like-minded individuals. I thought that I could fit in. I don’t, not really, but I’ll get back to that. I went and I joined any and all “Indie Writer” groups on Facebook, befriended anyone with the word “Writer” after their name, and did my best to try to expand my audience.

I now know that I took the lazy path (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) and just collected people like some people collect stamps.

Nobody collects stamps anymore, Helena. Or Ken. Which is it? How would you like to be addressed?

I see what you did there. Stamps. Addressed. Clever.

You really think so?

I do. Credit where credit is due, darling.

Now I’m confused. Did you just drop deftly into dilettante-ese just now?Β 

I am what I am, what can I say?

Lots of things, I’m sure, but you’re losing my attention. Say something interesting soon, or I’m going to scroll YouTube for funny cat videos.

I was saying that in my effort to court an audience — I think I settled forΒ any audience, rather than the right one.

That sounds pretty fucking arrogant.

It’s not meant to — just wait, I’ll explain. Wait, come back!

Sigh. Well, if you’re still there, it’s like this: Tom Waits is a musician. By the strictest definition of the word, so’s Ke$ha. (No bias here, darlings).

But how much crossover do you really think there are among fans? Further, how much in common do you think the two would have, if you put them in the same room together?

Not better (I’m choking back an argument here, darlings. Bear with me).

Different.

So I find myself in the same situation. I don’t think I exaggerate at all when I say that every Indie Writer group I’ve found is 90% smutty romance writers. I’ve seen more naked, chiseled abs than I could shake a homoerotic dick at.

Not my cup of tea, darlings. (See aforementioned recipe for Blueberry Tea).

And not to be presumptuous…

Yeah, Helena. Who the fuck are you to presume that I can’t enjoy both mommy porn AND metafictional, non-linear, experimental horror?

Good, you’re still here. Okay, sure, you’re right. But I don’t. And let’s face it — it’s anomalous for someone to do so.

I don’t belong there. But because I wanted an audience — ANY audience — I shouted my words into any room I could find, hoping that you would love me.

But — and here’s the rub — just as some of you certainly don’t love me, I don’t love you, either.

Nope. I don’t love you all. Some of you I love, and surely you know who you are, and if you’re ever in doubt, just let me know. But I don’t love you all. Some of you really fucking suck. But you’re still here, or on my Facebook friends list. Some of you piss me off with your ignorance. Some of you just bore the shit out of me, or make me roll my eyes every time I see you post something.

I’m sure that some of you feel the same way about me. That’s fine. My skin’s growing thicker — I think it’s some sort of evolutionary process in reaction to the loss of all my fucks. All those fucks kept me warm at one point, and at one point, I could give a fuck, should a fuck be required. But now I have no more fucks to give, so that’s that.

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know that I’m a champion of good art. Or, I used to be, until I just became desperate to be loved by EVERYONE. A strange friend of mine once chastised me for chasing the accolades of people that were ordinary and boring. She, too, is extraordinary, and I’ve been very privileged in the past to collaborate with her. People don’t understand her, either. They call her odd, or pretentious, or confusing. Her poetry blows my fucking mind — it’s difficult. It’s tough and chewy. It doesn’t go down easy at times.

So, do I really think that her audience is the same audience that will enjoy reading about Reginald’s quivering member? Perhaps, of course. But not likely.

The point (so easily confused with the period, of course, but don’t worry, I’m not quite ready to come to a full stop yet, darlings) is that these people are not only not my friends, but they are not my audience, either. So I need to stop feeling frustrated when Ke$ha fans simply can’t get into “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” by Tom Waits.

You’re making a metaphor, right? You’re Tom Waits, right?

Your words, darling.

Further, you’re saying that there’s a difference between people wanting to support you, and people being your target audience. I mean, you’ve supported people out of generosity of spirit, even though their art wasn’t necessarily your cup of tea, right?

Yes! Exactly. But that’s exhausting. I have spent too long trying to be popular with the Ke$ha crowd.

Poor Ke$ha. Why is she your metaphor for pop culture? Has she even done anything relevant recently? Are you sure you’re not behind the times? Why not just say “Spice Girls” and be really dated?

Who’s writing this? You or me?

I don’t even know how to answer that question.

Anyhow, this is a call out for a new audience. And new writers for me to meet. If you want something different, here I am. If you have something interesting to share, here I am. I can be a good audience, when I’m not trying to court the popular crowd, with (and here’s a terrible confession) the hopes of riding their coat-tails into the light of day.

So, fuck it.

I suppose I owe an apology to those of you who do love me, and who I have not loved as best I could in return.

I’ve tried.

I apologize too much. I know. Let’s leave that topic of analysis for another session, darlings, as the clock tells me that it’s now time for me to go, and for you to get back to your lives.

Your favourite (with a U) dilettante,

H

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

38 responses to “I love you all. I think I pronounced that correctly.

  1. Hmm, if you’re trying to gain an audience of any sort then might I suggest you don’t try to befriend writers? Because writers, I find, make the worst readers and readers are what you want. (Also writers have the annoying habit of always talking about writing, which gets old after awhile, lol).

    • Yup. Btw, love you, brother. Ironically, writers make the worst readers. I remember Stephen King chastising people about this – he said something to the effect of “how can you call yourself a writer if you’re not also reading everything you can get your hands on?”

  2. I know I am not a new audience. I don’t know if I am your cup of tea. But that’s okay, I love you (both of you) and I am always amazed by the passion in your art. I struggle with my own empty room of wanting to belong, with nobody outside trying to get in. (Weird metaphor, go with it). I have withdrawn from many discussions, but (not to sound creepy or stalkerish) I am always watching with awe the artists I admire the most. You are one of them. I guess sometimes I am just afraid to engage.

  3. I’m gonna leave a comment here because well there is a comment box πŸ˜›

    I follow a best selling author. She wrote a very successful book series in the Urban Fantasy Genre. Amost got turned into a TV show. But all things come to an end or you risk killing the story.

    Now she’s stared writing something in the Sci-Fi Mistery genre (or so I believe) . It ain’t going so well. And we are talking about someone with a huge audience, publishing with a huge publishing house.

    You should read some of the reviews the poor woman has gotten on Amazon.
    Unfortunately some people are fiercely loyal to a certain type of genre.

    Personally, I think it gets stale after a while. Variety is the spice of life. Now it may not seem this way, but there are quite a few people out there who feel the same way I do. While some people need a little convincing to get their horizons broadened.

    As for the mommy porn you so lovingly refer to….. and whether someone who reads that could also enjoy reading your flavor of writing … I was actually fiercely addicted to the entire Twilight Saga. I know that does not count as mommy porn but sparkling vampires don’t seem to go down so well with some people either. Now on average I prefer Anne Rice’s brand of vampires and the sheit that is flooding the market since Twilight does not interest me either.
    It’s hard combing through the mass of crappy things to find something one does actually enjoy reading.

    • You have always been super supportive of me not only as a writer but as a friend. I know I can come off as super snobby and elitist when it comes to pop culture, but that really wasn’t the point I was trying to make (maybe I failed). I am just done trying to chase fans by trying to convince them to like something they aren’t already predisposed to like. Thank you for always checking in on me during my times of disappearance.

      • yea I got your point. It sucks having to chase after readers. And I like your pop culture even if I don’t always get it it.

  4. Oh, my! I get you! I so get you! Your point resonates with me at such a level that I almost want to steal this piece and present it as my own (but of course, I won’t)! Lol! You are brilliant and I don’t know if I am your cup of tea but you are definitely mine and I do not require that the feeling be mutual for you to be so. I will get back to my life now (or work, whatever) but I just couldn’t do so without telling you that you are fierce, your writing is real and I love that about you!

    -Mari

  5. I can relate only too well, for I, too, am desperate to be loved. My people-pleasing, help everyone, try to be the best daughter, a good girl, goes back (and remains) to being emotionally abused by my mother. Reality is, no matter how hard I try, I cannot control her. I cannot prevent her from hurting me or those I love. She’s sick. She has no understanding of how her behavior affects others. The pain, even after over 34 years of therapy (intermittent, at times), remains a deep chasm, a horrible, horrifying maw.

    • I see these same eagerness to please in myself for the same reasons. I’m too fragile to talk about it right now, and definitely don’t want to talk about it in this public forum, but yes, I get that. It’s almost masochistic — that desire to have approval at whatever cost.

  6. Definitely with a ‘U’. That’s one thing that makes you different, and special and an acquired taste that I happen to love.
    I get that ‘I want everyone to love me and my work’ sometimes more me, sometimes more my work. Whilst getting to that stage where you have no more fucks to give can be horrible, uncomfortable, black, scratchy and downright fucking awful, it’s liberating, no? It releases you from so many things. Not that I wear that ‘no more fucks’ state of mind hat so easily all the time, but it’s starting to feel less of a bad fit than it did.
    I shudder at the thought that I might slide into the category of those writers/followers that bore you and irritate you. See? I want to be liked, still.
    No matter – I’m not actually seeking affirmation, just letting you know that ‘you are not alone’. You like who you like – the choice is yours.
    Be well, my friend.

  7. ‘Reginald’s quivering member’ – Ten Things I Hate About You? Or pure coincidence? Either way, you are my favoUrite Dilettante, and that won’t change.

    For real.

    And your brain. Still. Want. To Lick. (except when it’s being cruel to you, and then I’d like to kick its ass, but even though the back end of a brain looks something like a butt, I doubt it would be a productive move, so I’ll just say I hope you feel better soon *HUGS*)

  8. Every time I hear the term audience I think of a big overstuffed chair and popcorn essence in the air. So I guess I’ll just sit here and wait for the next feature and hope no kid dumps soda on the floor. (I hate walking out of my shoes on sticky soda).

  9. Not sure if this reply will go through. My connection is sporadic right now.

    But the reason most artists never find an audience is because they can’t walk tall through the sea of people who either ignore or shit upon their work. Finding an audience means letting people punch you in the face (or the balls, since we’re talking about you) a thousand times a day, and getting up and repeating the same exercise for years. Most people won’t get a specific person’s creation……until they do.

    I know you struggle. You want people to appreciate your creations. You don’t understand why they don’t give you your due. And the only way through (sorry) is to keep flinging your creations out there. Absorb the agony and anger and disappointment, and get up to create again. You may not believe this, but I do it every damn day. I know you can, too.

  10. Hey, I do still collect stamps! And napkins. And just about everything (abusive, hoarder mother – what can I say, I try to teach the infection to collect the pretty things instead of garbage!) And you can never talk too long about pizza!
    I guess I am sort of like a cup of tea. And everyone loves tea, right? But try drinking it 20 times a day, even every day 3 times, and you will get sick of it. I guess this is how I am trying to deal with the whole thing, the audience, the what not.
    I don’t know if you like me. Even if you tell it to me every 20 seconds, I will still have doubts. We all have our bugs. But over the years I have learned not to give a flying fuck if somebody likes me – as long as I like them. So sorry, you can’t leave my reader’s favourite club, you better get used to the Stockholm syndrome πŸ˜€

  11. Admittedly, the genres in which you write aren’t normally things I read. HOWEVER, I literally love everything you write. The imagination of your stories combined with skillful writing and an amazing voice won me over.

    No, not everyone will love your art, and that’s okay. It takes a dark soul to appreciate dark arts. Your people are out there. The trick, as ever, is to find them.

    • I think this was me taking the stage again, like Iggy Pop, grabbing my crotch and sneering, scaring away the frightened ones, weeding out the weak. (Omigod I’m full of shit!) so I can get writing again. New post today, another coming tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s