Control: Raging Anger at Everything
I, Dalton Lewis, feel fiery anger. I can’t express it in the real world because I am a mentally-ill forty-two year old man who would be locked up if I started to scream about how broken things are and begin to break things around me — plates, phones, chairs, tables. I should break tables but don’t. I just quietly write about it, about all the anger. I rage at the darkness around me, the terrible darkness of my failure, of my lack of money, of my lack of a career, of my bloated, terrible body that should lose 100 pounds. Life seems to favor a small group of people who know how to game the system and get ahead. I have worked for twenty years trying to make it as a novelist only to fail overwhelmingly. I published Miserable Existence, terrible title and all, and sold ten copies. I wrote for nine months and sold ten copies. I don’t know what to do anymore except smash my computer and throw it at the window. That might help my writing career as much as writing another terrible book that no one reads.
What do I do? How does one progress? I don’t want to give up, but it’s been twenty years. Do I really think I will make it in year twenty-one or twenty-two of being a novelist? Would that make a difference? I don’t think so. I have written myself into a corner. I sit, in my parents’ house, trying to write a blog entry a day, trying to finish a novel, trying to do something to make my writing better. I’m failing.
The new plan is to write an outline and prepare more for the next one — which will be the one after the new one, which is almost done. I wrote a sci-fi epic for National Novel Writing Month last year. I have spent almost a full year rewriting it so that it can sell five to ten copies to friends and family who won’t even read it. I am sick of this. Nothing helps, nothing works, and the rich assholes in charge ignore me and don’t help me at all. Nothing trickles down.
Why is Neil Gaiman great? Why am I not that great? The differences between our writing are significant. His is good and mine isn’t, right? That’s what everyone says and thinks. Why don’t I write literature? Why do I stumble for years and write something that no one likes? I wrote a novel about a middle school student looking for religion. That should have been interesting to people. Making a novel about searching for answers should resonate with people. Neil’s graphic novel Brief Lives resonated with people, but my novella about the same topic didn’t impress anyone.
I also play strategy games, and I play them poorly. I don’t do a good job at them. Losing almost every game by a lot pisses me off. Why? Why do I not do better at this? I don’t understand why some people are so good at everything that they do and I’m not. I can’t get past platinum at Starcraft 2. Why? Why can’t I think ahead a couple turns and know what to do?
My new novel is a sci-fi epic. It’s called V Max One. I hope that it does well but don’t have high hopes for it. I tried to write a fun epic about unhappy people trying to figure out how to deal with women correctly. I wanted it to be topical and exciting and fun and epic.
I’m going to continue to write. Giving up isn’t an option. Writing more is the only option. Trying to write more effectively is the only answer. I’m not spending twenty years at something and then surrendering and saying that it is too hard. Fuck that; I’m in it till the end. I won’t ever stop writing.
Thanks, and take care, friends.