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The Week Can Finish

One of my ex-girlfriends was one of those writers who wrote a lot, but never let anyone read it. She still is. She writes for herself, and not publication, as she doesn't want to deal with that, and in the last couple of days, I've been starting to think that her point of view isn't looking too bad.

On the train station last night, I sat in the dark and on one of the benches, and I felt tired at life. Not tired of life, tired at having to do it.

This week alone, I've been food poisoned, had to deal with crazy parents who want me to teach their child the HSC english curriculum in eight weeks, and done the whole book thing, which was twenty-four hours of fight music and popularity. In that time, I actually slipped on some water, and ended up on my back, like I was some eighty-three year old man. It's been forever since I slipped on something--I had forgotten the way everything slows down for you, how you try to gain your balance while also try to land on something in your body that won't break. My bones are strong and ugly, so I was fine, but I twisted my leg round, and fucked up my shoulder, and I've been limping round for the last two days. I feel like I've been in a fight, which is kind of funny, when you think about it. Then there was finding people who want me to do work for them, which took a while, and I was never sure if the money was coming, and I kind of need cash, after the tickets for the States and losing some hours at the slowly sinking, soon to have no children tutoring centre I work at a couple of days. I'm not not thinking I'll be in that job much longer, so I need to pick up outside work, which isn't too much of a trouble, but--

Well, it leaves you all feeling tired. Fucking tired.

You want to hear something funny?

About once a week, someone tells me how well things are going for me, how I'm on the cusp on something big, how I'm on my way somewhere. Where? Well, who knows. No one ever says and I never ask; but seriously, it's once a week. I could time my weeks on it. It is, of course, real nice of people to say, and I'm always appreciative of it, but it's impossible to believe. I figure it's the nature of people, however, to look over at someone else and think that they over they're doing well. The grass is greener, and all that. Well, I'm here to assure you that it's not green, so not, and there's no grass. In fact, there's just a tired, tired guy who, the moment he finishes this, is going to go and make some lunch and receive some more phone calls from crazy parents, and he's going to limp as he does it, too.

Comments

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norda
Aug. 3rd, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
My sympathies for your fall, and for feeling old and tired and beaten.

That would be a rough week by anyone's standards.
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
yeah, it's been that kinda week. thanks.
speshal_k
Aug. 3rd, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you fell over :-/
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
i'm sure i'll do it again ;)
(no subject) - speshal_k - Aug. 3rd, 2007 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lyndarama - Aug. 3rd, 2007 05:41 am (UTC) - Expand
lyndarama
Aug. 3rd, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
Falling down hurts more as an adult. I long for the days when I could stub the top half of my toe off and go right on playing like nothing happened.

Last week a friend of mine conked me in the elbow with her surfboard fin and I almost cried. Although, to be fair, elbow / funny bone hurties hurts the most!

Picking yourself up as an adult is harder too. I haven't written anything of any greater length than a To Do list for a while now, but I have marked a *lot* of creative writing, and it's starting to occur to me that I might actually be afraid to send stuff out there when and if I write stuff I can send out. You send stuff out there all the time, and deal with the feedback and reviews, and yes; the stuff-ups with editing that aren't really your responsibility.

You also seem to be having more wins than losses: I don't know if you're on the verge of something big, but you're sending your work out to the big bad world and you're here speaking up and getting known.

These things count for a lot, especially I reckon to those of us who couldn't muster the bravery to do the same right now.
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2007 06:42 am (UTC)
thanks for the nice words, surfer girl.

i do okay for what i am, yeah, but what i am isn't a whole lot at the end of the day, and i've never really been bothered by rejection. there's always going to be people who don't like your stuff, you know?
catsparx
Aug. 3rd, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
Me sorry you fell over too. Hope you get better -- and more balanced soon.
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2007 06:41 am (UTC)
thanks.
frogworth
Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
The shit with people telling you how well you're going happens to me too. "Oh, I've been seeing FourPlay everywhere lately" blah blah blah. Yeah whatever. We're still in debt, it's still hard, and SHITmyfoothasgonetosleepI'mgoingforawalk,backsoon...
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
that foot thing, i should say that next time someone brings it up.
(no subject) - frogworth - Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Aug. 4th, 2007 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
ex_benpayne119
Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)
I did a full on fly through the air slide in the bathroom once... man that hurt....

As for the positivity thing... *shrug*... it's all perspective... you strike me as a glass half-empty kinda guy

:-)

I think you're doin okay, man... which is different to thinking you're on easy street... but y'know... not to deny the downsides this week, but still, you got a book out and at least some people are digging it... that's a cool thing.
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:26 am (UTC)
oh, yeah, look, i'm not dissing what i got. i like what i got, but it's just a starting position, and it's taken me 12 years to get to that...
(no subject) - simplykathryn - Aug. 3rd, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Aug. 4th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC) - Expand
buymeaclue
Aug. 3rd, 2007 12:06 pm (UTC)
If it's any consolation, it seems like everyone I know is falling over (literally) this week. Lots of bumps and scrapes and bruises all around.

Feel better.
benpeek
Aug. 4th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
thanks.
bodhichitta0
Aug. 3rd, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. And your week sounds like it has both sucked and blowed, which you know, is difficult. People aren't wrong to recognize your potential--it's just always something when you're a writer. I have a acquaintance/borderline friend who had a movie developed from one of her novels. The movie didn't do that well. Then she had to find a different publishing house because hers wasn't putting any sort of push at all behind her next novel because the movie hadn't done well. And she still has to teach to support herself. And this is someone who has appeared on bestseller lists and gets reviews in the biggies. And it is just always something. I don't think anyone chooses writing as a career, it chooses you, and then you're just fucked and sometimes I just wish I could be a phlebotomist.

And BTW, don't hate you at all and I hope your legs/shoulder feels better.
benpeek
Aug. 4th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
heh. thanks.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 5th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
Most of the authors I meet and get to know through work have spoken of the false illusion of "success" - how there's never really an easy street, except for a very lucky few. I've got members who've won major awards and have more than five novels out who still have to work full time jobs to support themselves. A very established author once told me about the strange feeling she had just after her first novel was published when she realised that her life was exactly the same as the day before, only now she had a book published. I guess it all depends on what it is you're looking for. Getting a book published is a major achievement and if your main reason for writing is because you've got something to say and you're looking to connect with an audience, well then you're succeeding at that very well. Keep going. I'm sure, wherever you're heading, you'll get there.

Kate E.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 5th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
Many of the authors I meet and get to know through work have spoken of the false illusion of "success" - how there's never really an easy street, except for a very lucky few. I've got members who've won major awards and have more than five novels out who still have to work full time jobs to support themselves. A very established author once told me about the strange feeling she had just after her first novel was published when she realised that her life was exactly the same as the day before, only now she had a book published. I guess it all depends on what it is you're looking for. Getting a book published is a major achievement and if your main reason for writing is because you've got something to say and you're looking to connect with an audience, well then you're succeeding at that very well. Keep going. I'm sure, wherever you're heading, you'll get there.

Kate E.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 5th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC)
Sorry didn't mean that to come through twice. Clicked the button again by accident...
(no subject) - benpeek - Aug. 6th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
paulhaines
Aug. 6th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
when one is on the cusp they will never know, until they have cusped the cusp and by then the cusp will have mattered not that you were on it and have now passed it.

And, if you were to recognise you were indeed cusping, then from the cusp you would fall.

tis true, trust me... I'm ever wrong.
paulhaines
Aug. 6th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
sorry, that should have been:- Im never wrong.
(no subject) - paulhaines - Aug. 6th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Aug. 6th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Aug. 7th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
i DID stuff at the same time that was so similar. I tripped over a kerb in the dark and fell full length, been many years since I experienced that oh-shit floating sensation. I happened to be on my way out from trying to teach a no-hoper how to pass the GMAT exam. He scored a 1 on his essay. Argh. And I found a supposed reviewer selling one of my ARCs from his Web store that has gard only knows how many other unopened galleys and whatnot on it. I mean, questionable, or what?
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