It's a word you need to get used to when you undertake an endeavour that strays from the beaten path. Doesn't mean hearing it sucks any less. A lot of us talk this big game about learning to fail and failure being the path to success. Fewer talk about how much it sucks to fail. It sucks to fail. Even when you know it's for the best, it sucks to fail. My latest failure? I thought I'd go out on a limb. I applied for a writing gig at a video game publisher in the big city. It was a full-time job, but I was all ready to grind it out, live in a shitty apartment with my asshole cat, and make the money I need to fuel my creative pursuits. After all, I'm writing a novel right now, and publishing that shit isn't cheap. I was already imagining it. A six-month contract of pure suck, where I'd put my money where my mouth was. I'd get up super early, commute, work for the man, go home and write. I'd work out in there somewhere too. I even imagined myself on a date in the city, a girl asking me what I do for a living. "I work, I write, I work out. That's about it." It would sound kind of lame, and maybe she'd give me a weird look, but I'd be proud. I was working towards what I wanted after all. Maybe she'd dig the artist type, and actually appreciate my dedication.
Then I got the email.
I didn't get the job.
I'm writing this and even now I'm thinking to myself "it's no big deal, everyone has to deal with this". But it feels like a big deal. It was like this symbol of the life I want for myself, the next big step. I don't know why I assumed I would get it. Probably my raging narcissism coupled with a massive ego. I totally expected an invitation to an interview when that notification popped up. I feel kind of stupid now. They asked for a degree in writing. I don't have one. I tried to be funny, acknowledging my lack of a degree from the top and making up for it with kickass writing samples. It didn't work, obviously. There's probably something I could have done better. Maybe I should have sent different samples. Maybe I should have called, shown them how much I wanted the job. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. I'm not sure if they're wrong for not hiring me, or if I'm just not good enough to meet their standards.
The truth is, I'm stuck in my hometown for at least a bit longer. Truth is, at least I'm a bit proud of myself for being willing to take this leap. Maybe that's what matters more than the outcome. I was ready to take that risk. I was prepared to leave what I knew behind, go for something new in order to get to what I wanted. I think that's the takeaway here. I think at the very least, taking this small leap, applying for this job so far out of my comfort zone, showed me that I'm willing to take big risks to make my dreams come true. Maybe that's all that matters.
It's the start of 2018, and everyone's doing a lot of looking back. I look back and all I know is 2017 took a lot of weird turns. It wasn't quite the liftoff I expected. I don't know if 2018 will be different. It certainly started on a bit of a downer. Still, I'm going to get back to the grindstone. I'm 100 000 words into a novel, and I can feel the end coming. Maybe I should lead with that? Maybe I shouldn't dwell on the things that could be, on the things I fucked up. Maybe I should realize that there's things I'm accomplishing, even in the midst of failure?
I don't know. What I do know is I haven't finished my writing for the day. Better get back to it.