Can one desire anything at all in the universe and not experience desperation if not feelings of failure? It seems unlikely, Still, does that mean I shouldn't ruminate on said failures or continue an examination of my ongoing failures? I think not. So, please do enjoy "A Failure To Not Feel So Desperate" at The Big Smoke here and if you want to imbibe on some excerpt you can do so below.
You may also want to read my last piece at The Big Smoke, "The Sound of Metal and the Failure of a Narrative Wrapped in a Failure of Sound," here, the one before that, "What’s Your Why? Or a Failure to Make Work, Work", here, the one before that, "The Pygmalion Effect: Or, A Failure to Parent," here, or before that, "Without Ritual (and the Failure to Seek Out the Sacred)," here, or even the one before that, "The Thing About I May Destroy You, Trauma, and Failure," here. And yes, I'm really into ruminating on failure these days.
"Authors talk about what they want from their writing: fame, sales, awards, money. At times, I’ve wanted all of those things as well, though mostly it hasn’t been those things. What there has been is a need to be recognized as having something to say and a recognition of this from the people who can offer the access to say it. It’s also a need for praise and validation. None of which was wholly clear to me until I stepped back from my relentless urge to be out there, and the pandemic made such things feel selfish to worry about anyway.
"One might ask, Why are you ruminating on this now? Isn’t that selfish as well? It’s not like the pandemic is over. That’s true, but like most of us, I’ve had a lot of time to think about myself. Plus, you might be surprised how much is happening despite the failure of the pandemic to end.
"Recently, I was on Facebook, and I saw an author I read with only once participating in a major literary conference and, as embarrassing as it was, I thought, How can that happen for me?
"There is the writer who used to drunk dial me and now doesn’t talk to me, posting about adapting his novel into a television script for an actor having a moment that wants to option it.
"Also, the publisher who dropped the ball on marketing a hoped-for breakout book of mine (it didn’t) and whom I didn’t know wrote himself is being published by a dream publisher of mine.
"Then, there are the numerous authors I came up with or around, or came after me, who are moving copious copies of their new books, which they post about with unbridled glee.
"All of which I celebrate, full stop; none of which is intended as a rant about the corrosive effect of social media. No one’s success or desire to celebrate that success is related to my lack thereof. What I feel, however, is that it’s been awhile since I had a new book come out into the world, and while I have focused on practicing patience, if not acceptance, I still feel that tug of desperation when I see posts such as these. I want things that have eluded me and may continue to do so. This need does not go away, even if it’s better managed and somewhat embraced."