As a writer, the possibility of commercial failure is something I accept as one of many potential outcomes over the course of this lifetime. I am no longer the innocent boy loaded in ideal, as opposed to a man who lives in reality, fully aware of the cause and effect nature of daily living; and in this life, many people will fail. All I have is my will, work ethic, and the knowledge that God – or whatever God is, is on my side; not through any religion, but the faith I have in what I do, and the manner in which I do it
When I was writing my book – and if honest, for a few years before, I felt writing defined my existence. Even though I had health, good friends, the gifts of intellect, compassion, and a partner etched in love and humanity, I always felt I lacked any value, without being able to produce pieces of incredible writing. On a deeper level, it was likely a feeling I needed what I deemed my biggest strength - my intellect, to define me; being somewhat of a clever bastard, and all.
This mode of operation rose from an inability to comprehend a physical and emotionally starved childhood; and an instinctive reaction in deciding I was going to become so successful in whatever I did, those who rejected me would come to realise they abandoned the wrong horse – therefore giving me the emotional validation I desperately needed. The thing is, regardless of any success, they never do; for they forever view themselves as the centre of a universe which has no centre; and from their viewpoint, all personal actions of others will forever remain as being all about them, and their own ridiculous ego defences. The sad truth is, they never allowed love inside their lives to break the cycle; love takes work, hard work – but it is the greatest thing on this planet - when we allow our hearts to yield to it.
Anyhow, this attitude left me in the foolish position of finding definition in the work I did, and not the person I was. For anyone who has been here, it is a scary place. Writing is essentially art; and all forms of art are subjective. Carrying a need for anything creative to be loved and accepted, purely to validate ourselves is really stupid, and unhealthy. From this position I was unable to grow as a writer; with a bruised ego holding me prisoner. And I could not mature as a person; while constantly focusing on feeding the writing ego, and neglecting a natural core of humanity.
But this has all changed now, and I no longer carry these chains. The reason is simple; love. Love has come into my life - as it does every life, and I have worked hard to embrace it, understand it, and try to nurture and cultivate it as much as I can. From being on both sides of the coin, it affords me an ability to appreciate it more than I can comprehend. I got lucky, perhaps. For much of this comes in the form of a partner of equal decency, who loves as much as I do; had she been a manipulative scumbag – and we’ve all met those before, who knows where I could have ended up? As easy as it sounds, the road to get to this point has been absolute hell; caused mostly by myself. But if that path was what led me to this, well I am glad I went through it.
So as a writer, I may never be a success. I may never write a New York Times best-seller, win a BAFTA for best original comedy screenplay, and these articles may get lost in the toilet bowl of discarded internet personal blogs. But it doesn’t matter. This does not mean I will devote less time to writing, or desire these accolades any less. But I now understand I am defined by the manner in which I act, react, love, and give to both the people I meet, and the life I have been handed to me as a gift. Writing is my livelihood; I still love it, but am not defined by mere words on a screen or sheet of paper. In many ways, this already makes me a kind of success.
And from this, I must keep moving forward; but I can only do it, with love in my heart; there is no other way....