Whenever you start something in life–something that comes from a deep-seeded passion for thing–you naturally begin to trek down that sober and lonely path that most of us have only recently identified as arrogance.
Arrogance–by definition–is an offensive display of superiority or self-importance wrought forth by overbearing pride.
So sue me.
(Yeah. Okay. I’m feeling the love there…!)
And the truth is, I don’t care how people view me. Looks, appearances, whatever you like to call it…I’m not bothered by it. I used to be. Not too long ago. But I’ve grown accustomed to the way I am. You could call me a slob and I would just simply shrug.
Or a pig.
Whatever floats your boat. And to be honest, I’ve heard these kinds of words or phrases hurled in my direction all my life. When you’ve been in my shoes, seen the things that I’ve seen, you quickly learn ways to protect and shield yourself from all the verbal abuse that comes your way.
You withdraw from things, from people, from life itself and just live in a vacuum.
No…this isn’t a pity party on my part. I’m simply explaining things the best I can. In the real world, I have few friends. Not because I’ve alienated myself from people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: I just lose touch and track of people over time.
During my job tenures, I established close knit family ties with some of the people I’ve worked with, always stayed on as being part of the “team”, but I’m always by myself. Always alone. I don’t socialize very well because I’m afraid to open up.
So I keep things to myself. I keep things bottled up for as long as possible.
Such things would ruin normal people. But I’ve learned to adapt and adjust to my surroundings in my own way. The stress. The anxiety. The depression. Everything that wracks the human psyche and spits out the unsavory pieces afterwards…
It’s how I’ve lived my life. And along the way I’ve picked up and honed traits that have pissed the wrong people off time and again. And I’ve gotten in trouble for it. Paid the price. Accepted the consequences as they came.
As one of my contacts said: “…you will always fail.”
And in truth…? I’ve always failed. Success for me is an alien concept–because such a moment in time doesn’t last very long. It comes and it goes. And if I ever truly became successful, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
I’m arrogant at times because I choose to be arrogant. Not because I like to be a total prick of the world either. But because I choose to be. Because I have this overpowering faith in my abilities as a writer whenever I look at my writing.
I see the potential that is there. I see the possibilities that have yet to exist. I look beyond the box that everyone else is presently in and see things that life has always hinted at in both fantasy and dreams.
What I write becomes a part of my experience, my quest to unlock the hidden treasures of the known universe. You can’t simply gain knowledge by a wave of a magic wand. You have to earn it.
Nobody gave me the keys to becoming a successful writer. I had to learn the craft on my own–through reading and books. I applied what I knew to my craft wherever I could, but never thought of myself as superior to everyone.
Just a good writer. My blind faith in myself become my source of arrogance. Because nobody else had faith in me. Few didn’t think I could cut it as a writer. Only because fewer still understood what it took to become one.
Like they say all over cyberspace, the road to being a writer is a lonely one. No one is your friend. No one is an ally. But you’re surrounded by enemies left and right who would rather cut you down than support you on your quest.
I accept that.
I’ve known that my path wouldn’t win me that many friends. But it would generate a lot of enemies because I was always writing against the grain of civilization. The foundation of writing and publishing. I would be challenging doctrine and established dogma that has stood for well over 100 years.
I knew what I was getting myself into the moment that I started writing. The moment my imagination took hold and brought me to this point many years later. I knew that what I was doing wouldn’t be accepted by a lot of people.
But I did it anyway. My only mistake along the way was trying to get people to understand my position. I thought that if I did that, it would make my job all that easier. Turns out I was wrong. (And still am.)
The people that control the purse strings don’t want their absolute authority challenged. Only that it is accepted as blind faith in itself. A show of arrogance that is well placed because it is part of their mandate–a well established line of obedience and acceptance in a long line of storied tradition.
I only found out this through years of pursuing what I had hoped would be a quick jaunt into traditional publishing. These people are so set in their ways, that nothing (and I mean nothing) could ever upset that.
They despise the new writer as much as they despise new direction and new ideas. They don’t like conformity so long as they are the ones that are doing the conforming.
Do or die. It’s that simple.
But as Master Yoda once said: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
So I do it. I decided one day that I won’t play by the same rules as everyone else. I decided to lash out at people and out at the mainstream.
I decided on whether or not I want to be arrogant.
However, pride also has its price. I still remain alienated from the writer community. I can’t conform to their way of thinking and doing because it’s simply not mine. Like two opposing forces, we’ll never meet on equal terms.
We’re both dead set in our ways and our mode of thinking. Neither one of us plans to back down anytime soon.
I realize that I’ll never become famous, never make a shit load of money off my books, but that’s not the reason why I write these 330,000+ word novels. Why I spend months and years hashing things out on my own until I’m sure that it’s going to work.
Because nobody else will do the work for me.
I am alone in my endeavor. I am alone because it’s the only way I can be assured that I will succeed at some point in my life–no matter how much time it takes. With too many people, too many voices, both the idea and the dream can be easily corrupted and/or destroyed.
Leaving you with only bits and pieces to show for your effort.
I can’t allow that to happen.
So in writing, I’m only projecting my fierce passion and determination for my work. Only I can make it happen. Only I can finish these mammoth projects and go onto the next.
Being arrogant, being a jerk are just facets of my life. But you can never go through it by simply being nice 24/7.
Sometimes…you have to let your dark side come out and play every once in awhile too.
It’s the only way we survive. It’s the only way we’ll be able to win in the end.