I have put something up on this blog almost every week—it’s annoying. Been doing it for some years. I should be tired. It bothers me that I am not.
If you haven’t guessed already, this essay is going to be more narcissistic than usual.
Nothing about what I am doing is special. There are people who have been doing like this for longer, more frequently and, if I can fake humility for a second here, better.
And then, there are those who have been writing in the privacy of their notebooks—the uncovered beauty, the undiscovered talent, the uncomplicated humility will live and go with them. At the other end are people who make the Abrahamic sacrifice: creators who build with the rubble of their self-destruction. It’s normal to look at the two ends and feel somewhat pitiful. On one end, what a waste of creativity, and on the other, what a waste of a life. I see no difference. I look at them both and see God.
I know I can write better if I just did a few things differently. But in my sloth-filled incompetence, I found something unexpected: a comfort with mediocrity. I didn’t go into writing looking for improvement. I got here to get out of it. I am a part of a mindless cycle in every other way of my being—where everything I do can be done better and less hopelessly—so I am here to get away from that, briefly, Please.
I may never know if I have the slightest flair for writing because it’s an uninteresting exploration as far as I am concerned anyway. I know this is disfavoring anyone who reads the blog; to not improve—or worse: worsen. It’s not that I don’t care. I do. But the only way to show I care is to stop creating entirely. And before you know it, I’ll start believing I am God and end up doing stupid shit.
I create so I can have at least one part where I want to change nothing. How can I get better or worse—improve at that? This isn’t about putting up something new every week. I don’t do this to stay true to a streak. I do this to stay true. And sometimes it’s a lie that I am staying true to.
Some weeks, I know there’ll be nothing and you will see the nothingness in those essays. You will see how I wasted my time (and yours). But this isn’t yet another rationalization for why I write (badly), comfort food to reassure I am not wasting (my) time. Because, for once, I don’t care about wasting time. Our time.
And that’s why I am telling you all this, even as it makes me feel like a decadent wank.
Because I hope you have something, too. I hope there’s a part of your life that’s unchanging. A narcissism that’s original. Because in your quest for improvement, your bumper-sticker self-realization will be this: nothing’s really changed. That everything is kinda the same. You are still the dick you were when you started.
We are all of us refugees of our existence. And when that realization creeps up on you, this place of unchange, your constant, your K, your creation will be your refuge. In everything you do, the world’s convinced you to try harder because that’s how you hope to indoctrinate your existence. So you are always finding. And you never see what is.
And this is the real pattern: to be always after who you could be so you can be distracted from finding out who you are. I don’t get it when artists look back at what they created and cringe. For me, looking back has always been a reminder of who I am when everything else is reminding me of who I want to be.
We have lost the capacity for boredom because we have lost the ability to stick to something long enough. Boredom is the fertilizer of creativity. You aren’t finding a passion as much as finding something worthy of your boredom. Something where you don’t want to rid yourself of what is. You. In creativity, you seek, and in seeking, you are uncreative. You live as a crowd, so you can die as an individual.
Creation, as life, is a contentment not of doing, but of being. Everything. All at once.
Our addiction to change is our only real distraction. Being unsatisfied with what you do and all that hustler horseshit turns you into a centrifugal force of rejection, the opposite of creation. Don’t fool yourself into thinking change is chasing discomfort. Change has become your comfort. Try not changing for a bit. Try being okay with who you are and see how comfortable that is.
What we call stagnation is a stillness our change-chasing routine cannot comprehend. What we call mechanical is a consciousness our constant-reinvention pirouette cannot catalyze. We breathe in the patterned air of optimization and breathe out the debris of the soul. A constant need for change has become our objective. Us, the objects.
If you never let yourself inhabit the space of unceasing unimproving creativity, you will always be a step away from the optimization you are hunting. I am not coming around the fruity way of asking you to love yourself. I am asking you to be, at least occasionally, okay with everything you are, and once were: flaws and fractures, sickness and squalor, disgust and dogshit. Because your need to escape from the very self that’s causing you to feel the way you feel is what’s preventing you from getting over it.
To create is to accept. To be brave unto yourself. To create isn’t an escape. Anyone who has created knows it means to stay. To sit there confronting the bare constancy of it all. It is painful and beautiful the same way life is creative and destructive. Find your constant. Find something that’ll undo your accumulation of change. Be the world you wish to see in the change.