If you’ve been following the adventures of Snake and Dragon (make sure your brain reads that to you in the voice of Boris Badenov ) this all makes perfect sense. If you haven’t, let me know what you make of it. As I may have mentioned, short fiction has never been my forte. Stories and characters develop over time, and this arc is far from completion.
Brutal honesty is something that I do, but typically only when it’s either directed outward, or, if it’s directed inward, when there’s no one else there to notice. Broadcasting my own issues is pretty far beyond me.
When I was a kid, I was frequently told what an incredibly and offensively selfish human being I was, and, probably as a result, I grew up into a martyr and a nurturer with zero instinct for self-promotion. Possibly, promoting my faults is not the path to commercial success, but at the same time, I don’t really know a single artist who doesn’t deal with these issues in some way. When your sole goal in life is self-expression, it’s easy to fall into the trap of fear. Artists have to project a ruthless belief in themselves. You cannot make art if the snake or the parrot or whatever is sitting there over your shoulder screaming about how badly it sucks, how badly you suck.
We all have the snake, but until we either tell it to shut up or learn to ignore it or stand up for our own belief in what we’re doing, we don’t get to create.
When I just considered myself a writer, I wrote about 4 hours a day. Now, I typically draw between 5 and 8 hours a day. That doesn’t mean I don’t hear the snake. I’ve just been telling it to go to hell every 30 seconds since the beginning of the year. Once you get the habit, it gets easier not to care about the snake’s definition of failure. The act of creation is the measure of success.