At it again.
This time, with 100% more “top writer on Mental Health.” I published a single piece – something I wrote in about 30 minutes. 15 of those minutes were spent on the toilet. My immediate hot take on that notification email was “wow, low bar.” I’m still not convinced that it’s all that illusive of a status to achieve. I don’t know how hand-curated it is. I don’t know how much algorithm plays into it. I published something else – that ‘man bun’ tripe – that got a bit of attention too.
A part of me, though, is proud. It’s reifying, to a degree. I wrote it from a very honest place. Most of the final draft was in the rough draft. I wanted to take a photo that captures that same honesty. So I did that, too. I did my best to refrain from revising. I tied it all together at the end. That was the bulk of the minimal edits made. I did a bit of color correcting on the photos. In two days, I had gotten more attention than I probably ever have for my writing.
I’ve gotten another thing written. I took photos for it today that I think captures what I want to capture. Bit more generic this time. Looks like a marketing photo for the Kookaburra. Oh well. I’m hoping that I can continue to sort of tie this visual and written art together moving forward. Maybe that can be my fucking ‘thing.’
Couple touchpoints: I hit 99 woodcutting in that there old mobile MMO that Fia and I play. I’m finally able to pivot off of that in-game task and focus on getting the requirements for her and I to do more quests. That’s cool. I also had a chat with Bryan Lamb about art. This happened immediately prior to a chat with Richard about the supply chain and inventory management. I’ll give you one fucking guess as to which essay I want to write, myself. Go ahead, myself, write the shit. What are you waiting for? You’re a top writer in mental health.
Maybe getting that little status effect is going to have a damaging effect on my writing for Medium. I feel like I have something to live up to. I need to just let it lay. I need to let the writing speak for itself. Imposing all these worries and apprehensions on it just makes it worse. History has proven that. If I write honestly, if I remove as many hindrances from input to output as possible, the piece comes out good. It comes out authentic. That ‘talking to your depressed friend John” feel that I want all of my pieces to have. I have a couple of worries about this next piece in terms of quality, though.
It’s not as poetic. Not as much pretty imagery. No “swirls of marbled scarlet running down the drain.” None of that. It’s a prosaic take on the feeling of anxiety and duality that I feel when I look at myself now versus what I feel may come to exist in the future. It’s a bit more gonzo. It’s a bit more demanding of the reader. It has a snippet of fucking screenwriting in the shit. What am I thinking? It sucks. But, like, going back and revising it just means that I’m violating the principle that has led me to success. Does that mean I need to just burn it down and draft it again? Drafting it again is probably going to make me feel better. Even if the end product isn’t any better for it. If I draft it again, I’ll feel as though I’m not just ruining my second at-bat.
Baseball metaphors. That’s the sign of hack writing. That said, I do call myself a hack in the piece multiple times. Is that the hallmark of good writing? At least where ‘good’ is defined as ‘honest’ in this new perception I have on art and writing.
I want people to read this thing, though. I want to share a piece of my head. I like that people seemed to relate to the last thing. A lot of young people, too. A noticeable amount. Maybe that’s how the demographics on Medium skew. Maybe that’s an observation for artistic youth that I’ve made in the past. Maybe I should write about that.
Then there’s the timing. I posted the thing Sunday. What time Sunday, I don’t know. I wish I could know. Is posting every Sunday a good idea? Should I just post as soon as I get something done? I don’t know what the better strategy is. “Honest” says post it immediately. Prudent says post it on Sunday. Right now it’s scheduled for Friday. Today is Wednesday (about to be Thursday). It’s scheduled for Friday so I can stress about it some more. The fact that I’ll agonize over it until Sunday is a point in the camp of posting immediately.
I just took a minute to go back and revise a little. I’m so conflicted over all of that bullshit. Is saying more actually saying less? Did I have lightning in a bottle when I wrote my first piece about mental health as it relates to myself?