It sucks when people tell you shit you don’t want to hear,
it sucks even worse when you realize they’re right, and when you finally come
around to a productive way of thinking, it sucks worst of all to know, in
retrospect, that it took you far too long to realize you’ve been on the wrong
track. We all have a pace with this. Mine, unfortunately, can be slower than
I’ve had quite a few people remind me that this site was
once a pretty good thing for me. They’ve told me I’ve ruined the “brand”
through a combination of laziness, a way-too-intermittent posting schedule, and
a load of cryptic bullshit aimed at carrying out my own personal vendettas
against people who don’t matter to the vast majority of people who still read
my writing. All three of you.
Now, I’m not saying my sentiments toward the people I’m
angry at are incorrect or misplaced. Far from it. I’ve been pissed off for very
good reason, my anger is justified, and I’d still love to “have my vengeance in
this life or the next,” as the case may be. This, however, isn’t what anyone
wants to read about, especially in light of the fact that I’m not really at
liberty to name names or go into specifics. Since I can’t do that, who the fuck
cares? Certainly not my three remaining readers.
So, the idea is to move on. As I’ve said here on many
occasions—false starts, to be sure—I want to get this blog going again. I miss
it. It’s done a lot of good in my life, and I don’t want to see it sink any
deeper into this swampy morass of anger and wasted focus that’s been detracting
so profoundly from something that could, if I put my mind to it, be made very
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity, and why I’ve
generally been lacking any in recent years. When I first started writing this
blog, it filled a need on both sides—yours and mine. I was working as a bouncer
two or three nights a week, seeing a ton of shit I wanted to tell people
about in order to give myself a “creative outlet.” I’m putting that in quotes
because it’s ridiculous and hackneyed, but it’s the truth. When I first created
this thing, I didn’t have anything like that, and this medium was perfect for
me. I had some rudimentary writing skills, I knew how to tell a story in an
entertaining way, and I had piles of material to work with after every shift at
For readers, the blog filled a need—or solved a problem—on multiple
levels. First, it took many of them into an environment they’d never see for
themselves, either because they didn’t want to and would rather see it through
someone else’s eyes, or because they didn’t live in New York and didn’t have
the opportunity. Next—and maybe this sounds a little arrogant on my part—it gave
them a new, interesting voice that said some things in a way they’d never heard
before, or taught them some things they didn’t know.
That’s the problem reading solves for me. I read because I want
to learn. I didn’t write because I wanted to teach anyone anything—even I wasn’t
egotistical enough back then to think in those terms—but I had something interesting
to show people, and that’s why things worked out the way they did.
I read a piece the other day about entrepreneurship. In it,
the author said that the entire point of creativity is to solve problems.
Sometimes these problems exist on a massive scale that affect all of humanity,
and sometimes they just pertain to small niche groups. Sometimes we’re
painfully aware that these problems exist, because millions of people work hard
every day trying to solve them. Other times, we need to be made aware of them
by marketers so we’ll spend our money on solutions. Either way, it’s all about
problem solving, and creativity revolves around finding unique ways to make
problems cease to exist.
My problem is that after writing a book I didn’t
particularly like, and then losing that entire stream of material after leaving
the nightclub business, I lost my “steam” when it came to writing about
anything that didn’t pertain to the work I was doing. That’s a long-winded way
of saying that I stopped trying, and that I used every excuse in the book to
justify simply going to work every day, collecting a paycheck, then coming home
and living my life. And some life it was.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, of
course, because it’s what most of us do every day. I’m not complaining about
it, either. I know how fortunate I am. I went to work, I did my job, I came
home, and then I called it a day and went to sleep. I didn’t, however, take on
any outside projects, I didn’t write for pleasure, and I didn’t attempt to
cultivate any creativity when it came to stuff like this blog, or (God forbid)
thinking about writing another book.
That, however, isn’t where I am now. I want to keep getting
better at this, I want to attract an audience again, and I want to use this
blog for the same purposes I did back when I started it. Where that will take
me, I have no idea, but I like the process of writing something, staring at it
until it gets better, and feeling like I’ve accomplished something once I’m
ready to let people read it.
I sincerely appreciate all the feedback from readers who’ve
taken the time to write (and complain) about the direction I’ve been taking
things here. It’s been noted, and my course has been adjusted.