Why I’m Not Successful as a Writer
(Originally posted 2/20/2016… and still not successful. I’m actually less successful, if that’s even physically possible.)
The question of why I’m not successful as a writer is an easy one to answer really. And it goes well beyond my inability to know if you capitalize the “as” in the title Why I’m Not Successful as a Writer.
It’s because I’m unlikable as a person. Truly unlikeable. To know me is to loathe me.
What’s worse is that I won’t truly accept this fact. In fact, I have create this outside entity I call “The Universe” to avoid being accountable for my own failings.
I blame “The Universe” for all good and bad things that befall me, as if I am the lead character in some cosmic sitcom and helpless to effect my destiny in any way. Trapped to live out the circumstances presented by some cruel and hilarious “Universe” for the amusement of some other-worldly audience.
You want an example don’t you.
You’re so predictable.
Did you know that if you keep an almond in your mouth long enough the skin comes off?
And creates these little chunks (I accidentally typed “chinks” and spent a few moments wondering if I could work in a Chinese reference… unsuccessfully. Exhibit #317 why I’m a bad guy) of brown skin that adhere nicely to your teeth. This allows you walk around and talk to people with what appears to be the advanced stages of tooth decay.
Walk around and talk to people and continuously smile broadly to make them uncomfortable. That’s what I do to amuse myself. The more they squirm and find my visage unbearable the more I beam.
A 100% pure asshole move. And to what end? I’m the only person who gets a laugh out of it. I’m not on some hidden camera show where I’m making faceless masses chuckle away, no. I’m doing it just to make myself laugh
Bad enough I realize but then I have the balls to blame “The Universe” when these very same hijinks blow up in my face.
So I’m driving around smiling at other drivers when I pull into a grocery store to buy more sunflower seeds (I realize you didn’t need to know what I was buying and even if you did sunflower seeds is about the lamest item you could imagine someone offering up unprovoked. Exhibit #673 why I’m a bad writer) and singing a song at the top of my lungs. When I depart my vehicle I continue bellowing 32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco, a decision that had some very unexpected consequences.
But first a quick clarification about the song choice. Obviously I sing “I’m a poster boy with no poster” instead of “I’m a poster girl with no poster” but what you might not see coming is that I sing “22 Flavors” instead of “32 Flavors” because Ani clearly has 10 more flavors than I do on my best day.
So I’m about 22 feet from my car when a ridiculously beautiful girl walks up from behind me and starts to tell me that 32 Flavors is her favorite song in a way that makes it very apparent that the spoils that await a man who is caught singing the song in her presence are nothing less than carnal in nature.
This is very good news.
The type of news that has a man smiling broadly.
The type of news that has a man smiling broadly without remembering that his teeth are littered with bits of almond skin.
Almond skin… the 33rd flavor.
A flavor that has her throwing up a little in her mouth.
So she briskly retreats back into her car and I have the gall to begin blaming “The Universe.” Almond skin still sticking to my teeth I lean back and bellow “WHY?!” at the top of my lungs even though I know why.
Why? Because I’m an idiot.
I know that when other writers ask the question “Why Am I Not a Successful Writer” they probably list dozen of reasons having to do with the lack of sophistication of the masses, their own edginess or being ahead of their time, but the truth is I know exactly why I’m not successful.
I’m a bad writer. What I write is bad, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t be successful (insert any number of truly hideous book titles that have gone on to sell millions), it does mean that I will have to try a little to promote these horrible things I write.
But I don’t.
And then I blame “The Universe.” With the release of every new book I look at the sales numbers and then lean back and bellow “WHY?!” at the top of my lungs even though I know why.
And then I take a deep breath and think of that scene in Batman where the Joker says “See, I’m a man of simple tastes. I like dynamite, and gunpowder… And gasoline! Do you know what all of these things have in common? They’re cheap!”
So are almonds “Universe”.
So are almonds.