The Joy And The Fury

Sometimes we all need a kick in the pants. Pure motivational yelling. This article is for that time. Use when needed.  

The joy and the fury of creation is one you are not prepared for, but you are born for it. Let me tell you this, it is more than you know, and it pays not enough, and there is never enough time.

And you will find the more you do, the more there is to do. And you will find you can give your life to it. And you will find it will sweep you out and make your eyes tired and the world finds you odd and too far out to understand.

And it is glorious. And let me help you get there.

Don’t be embarrassed to call yourself what you are. Owning the title is not just good for what you think it is. It is not just a matter of taking yourself seriously and feeling confident—it is also a good way to get jobs.

Every writing thing I’ve ever done I started because I said offhand that I was a writer, and someone said they needed one of those.

Words have power, duh.

Next, prepare to do more than you ever thought you could. College and high school homework turn out to have a second applicable use—they teach you to be fucking fast at things on low sleep.

Only this is art, so no half-ass. I don’t care how tired you are. I wrote on six hours sleep at 2am in the morning.

And if I can do it without caffeine, then I think you can too.

Yeah, that is a false bias. But still, go for broke, my friend.

The word prolific is a good one. Aim for it. Sure, you could write the one great American novel. Or paint the next Picasso. You might still. But stack the odds.

Next, diversify and ingest art. Those things you called “pretentious”, those internet reviewers you scoffed at, those books and movies and songs you swear you’d never touch because they were not the things you like: yeah, go try them.

Now, good, you should have a massive pace going. Your body might be getting tired, so manage health. Take a fucking walk or do a few pushups. Take care of yourself.

This is a full-time job, that you do among other full-time jobs. Parents deal with it.  And now you’re giving birth to something. So be prepared to get the work in on time and with fury.

It’s a lot of fury, less so joy. All jobs can be hard. But this is worth it.

Finally, things may open up. Things may start to fly. Doors may open. Everyone wants success, but like all those trite posters about icebergs, there is a whole layer of work you do not see.

You will be pushed to the limit and have to say “no” to so many people and deny anyone a chance to take it away.

Finally, say this with me: “I have to make art.”

“I have to make art.”

You know how people say “have to” all the time when they really don’t mean it?

Yeah, well, you have to mean it. You have to be figuratively willing to rip apart everything to make sure you do what you have to.

You have to breathe. And no one questions it. Well, this you have to do, and everyone will question it.

Be relentless. And even if you break down and stop one day, you will have in your path so much to look back on and smile with the widest smile, and the knowledge that unlike others, you did something they all wanted.

Go make art. Fucking now!

Don’t wait to finish reading this.


Special thanks to: Bob GerkinCollin PearmanDylan AlexanderJerry BanfieldMichael The Comic Nerd,  and Pulsatilla Pratensis. 

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