(This entry is all thanks to Wil Wheaton's latest entry. Wil never ceases to be a source of inspiration for me, unknowingly my self-help guru...)
Whenever I talk about my life as an artist, I do so with great hesitation. After all, the successes I've had as an actor, on stage or film, have been limited at best. And my writing career...
Well, let's take a look at that.
I started writing when I was in the fourth grade. You can imagine what that was like. But my ambitions didn't form until I was 16 years old. I wrote a newspaper column, some short stories, poems, I'd started a book - I wanted to be a writer!
Over the years, and all the novels, one of my joys has been that with constant attempts and all the work, I've seen consistent improvement. My first novel, My Side, was neither marketable nor much good. I didn't care much about marketability but I did care about quality. And I have become a better writer. I can be proud of that. And without caring about marketability, my writing (novels, plays, etc.) have become more marketable over the years.
Why is that?
I don't know. But it's happening. I can see it happen. And even if I never sell a novel, it won't be because I suck. It will be for the same reason many other people don't - because only so many novels can be sold.
Not much of a "career", maybe, but that doesn't mean I don't have reason to be happy. It's been a long road and, oftentimes, an exhausting road.
But I am reminded of those who haven't even found a road.
Be they writers or actors or paralegals or cooks or computer programmers - I cannot help but think of those who never found something to be passionate about, those who lost their passion, or worse.
Tim Clostio has been drowning himself in booze for years now. He's my best friend and there's not a thing I can do about it, no matter how much I try. He was once the best writer I knew but now he hasn't written in years and he's given up on it - he's given up on himself. His life is about escaping this sad truth, he escapes in a bottle.
I've lost other friends to despair. Sean Roberson was one. He drank until he was so bad he couldn't recognize the diabetes that was killing him.
People who couldn't find a road or lost a road.
Being a failure means you tried, at least. And, as it's been said, a glorious failure is still glorious. I'm a lucky man in many respects - and I don't forget that.