That Rock Star Lifestyle You’re So Jealous Of
… Or, Holding Myself Accountable
First off, I loved the responses to the last post. It’s always good to know there’s a way of spinning it all into a positive light, especially as I have an almost amazing way of being negative about myself and what I view as my character flaws. It’s what most of this blog has been — me bitching about something I’m crap at or that I think other people are crap at, and general negativity and bitchiness. It’s what I do.
So, the title of this post. A few minutes ago, I was making a late afternoon lunch-ish snack for Adam (Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle, pimped out with a spoonful of Thai Green Curry paste) and me (Morrison’s Too Cheap For a Label Rice Cakes with a glob of Sainsbury’s Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chips, and an espresso-based beverage of my choosing). My internal monologue, constant feature that it is, gave me something about the Mcleveys’ famous rock n’ roll lifestyle.
As I smeared the globs of chunky nut and chocolate around the none-too-sturdy squares of puffed rice, my mind wandered to my previously documented relationship with attention. More specifically, though, why I desire fame, however petty.
That’s not to say I want fame fame. I don’t want the whole photographed coming out of Starbucks fame. I do want the people know who I am for something I’ve done of a certain level of quality fame. I want Thomas Pynchon fame.
For me, besides the whole admiration and recognition and praise thing that I’ve mentioned before, it’s a public accountability thing that I want. But, really, that doesn’t need to wait for the rest of it.
I am furtive about things most of the time. I speak in vagaries and often hide my goals. I say things like ‘I’m writing today’ or other equally wishy-washy statements that don’t actually say much of anything. What I need to do, I’ve decided, is become publicly accountable for what I’m doing.
If I’m writing, I need to say what I’m writing. I need to tell people what I’m working on, so that it can be thrown back in my face if I fail. I need the looming threat of public ridicule and failure hanging over me if I’m going to get anything done.
It’s true, though, that some things I work on can’t be made entirely public. The ghostwriter must remain hidden. But that sort of thing is so little of what I actually need to be writing, it’s not an excuse for not being held accountable.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by a friend to help hold her accountable for a project she’s starting. The way she put it was perfect — that she’s reached a point in her life where she needs deadlines or things just won’t get done. I think I’m the same. I have always functioned better with deadlines, and I find that self-imposed deadlines don’t do anything. If I can get out of a deadline, I will. I’m naturally quite lazy.
So this is another part of the commitment to completing things this year. no more vague statements of activity unless absolutely necessary. (I’m sure I can come up with something to cover those bits of work, just as so many very special sitcom episodes have been written with names like ‘The Puppy Episode.’ [bonus points for you if you don’t have to click this link to know what that’s referring to!])
I am going to take on that small benefit of fame here and now. If it becomes public that I’m working on a novel, it might make me get on with it. If it becomes public that I’m working on any project, it might give me that fear of public failure that has helped push me through so many parts of my life. I hate failing, but I need to have others know when I fail. It’s the only way I’m going to get things finished.