Not a great performance today. It's hard to do anything when you feel like there's nothing you can do that could change anything and you understand exactly why everything is happening that's bad, and it has nothing to do with anything not being good enough or not the best. It has to do with it being the best, and that is the worst. For me personally, there is nothing worse than that. If hell for me has a sharpest point, it is that. I wish I was worse, or bad, and not what I am, so that I could get better and that might help. But I know exactly what is happening and why I am in this position. And though I labor to make that clear in these pages, this situation is so singularly fucked up, I wonder who could even understand it, and then accept it, having understood it. Or who could accept that the world works this way.
I put the Beatles book of Beatles pieces in manuscript form. There were a couple pieces I had yet to include. It's mangy. It needs tidying up. There are instances that refer to "fifty years ago" that I would want to change, to make it more temporally neutral. Or just be consistent all the way through. There is a piece about a session the Beatles did for the BBC in 1963, and that session is touched upon again--for a decent-sized paragraph--in the last piece about the Beatles' best year. I'd have to decide if I'm okay with that. I don't want to be repeating myself, but they are different pieces of different intents, and I don't want to lose either. They're strong pieces. This isn't my main Beatles book right now. It's kind of my bonus Beatles book. Same Band is the project that's all new. Why am I doing this book of pieces? I think of it like a live album that got recorded while I was in the studio working on new songs. I wrote these great Beatles pieces and they're so different. The make arguments that people don't make, and they have viewpoints people don't have, honed from my life of getting better at listening to music and listening to this band. And once something is published, especially with how things are at the moment for me, they essentially disappear. People will see what comes in front of their faces. No one, of course, is telling anyone to go out and read my work. Not right now. So if you don't happen to see it without trying to, it's like it doesn't exist for you. I figured I should use that, that these are "new" in that regard, and make this Beatles book as a way to become this thinking person's Beatles fan. To become more conversant in their best concerts, their best guitar solos, the best film about them which no one has seen, the unreleased performance better than the famous official version. Everything I do right now feels like it's mud or becomes mud and some bad stuff is in my head because of how this has gone for so long, and being a target, and having no support, and the opposite of support. I'm not doing a great job holding fast right now. Same Band is two chapters--a first chapter and a third chapter. They need fixing. I have the proposal and outline, which needs updating. That's fine--easy enough to do. I need to have that proposal and outline and a sample chapter. I know what the second chapter will be, so when I have that many words in place, I think, okay, just have three chapters to show instead of one, because I need this to go well, and then I'm all up in my head, like I was saying, because of how things stand for me right now, because of all the bad things I engender through being good things and so unlike everyone else and every author, and because of the target that is there when you're on a different level, alone. It will take real time and work if I want to show three chapters, and I've put it off and I don't even have to do it that way, I can just show the one and I could do that with a fixed-up outline/proposal on Monday. Like I said, though, I need this to go well. There's just so much against me, and no one for me. I guess I should say this too, with the book of Beatles pieces, because it was part of my thinking: there is the prose. It's a literary undertaking. I don't mean it's boring which is what a lot of people think when they see that word "literary." I mean there's artistry in the prose, which is not the norm with Beatles books. Their prose is workmanlike. If you were a writing student, or loved beautiful writing, this book works that way, too. I think it's very different. Then again, people will despise you for not doing the very rote thing they expect you to do which they don't even like or get anything out of.
But yeah, I'm in my head, but on account of the reality. No one ever says a kind word. It just doesn't happen. My publishers on Twitter will share and like and quote tweet with superlatives and exclamation points everything by their other writers. People doing nothing. They never do it with me. So, someone says they heard a song by a band that they wrote a book about, and the publisher goes wild in sharing that. The Library of Congress asks me to write about a musician I wrote a book about, and that won't be liked or shared. It's just how it is with me, with everything, with no exceptions. I have this other publisher--and I fear it will get ugly--who hammers that like button any time one of the other authors has some piece on someone's random blog. They don't publish. They don't achieve. This person has hit the like button once for me going back to 2020, when I mentioned I went to Trader Joe's to start the new year by buying nuts and vegetables. They won't reshare my work. They follow me. They see it. So they see what they see and they make a decision. We are in business together. They treat none of their other writers this way. It's right in front of me. You think I don't monitor this and see what they do with everyone else, without exception? Of course I do. And I know if any of their other authors did any of these things--and they do none of them, and nothing close to them--it'd be a veritable jizz-fest of celebrating them that would fry and overload whole town full of servers. I'm about to have a cover story out in a major magazine. No one who has done a book of mine will hit that like button when I post that. I know this. It's how it always is. Imagine how you'd feel, right? This is the lowest level of support, and all of this goes right down to this lowest level, to say nothing of how nonexistent the support is on real levels--or the level of having any actual chance, or even what someone has done 1/5000th of what I've done would get and does get. Then the same people who do nothing, will get awards, etc. I know why it's happening. I know exactly why it's happening. It's parallelism. I've said it over and over again. And then it's like eventually I have to do something--and at the place with the Trader Joe's thing, it's so, so, so, so much worse than I'm letting on here, and I've actually protected this one person who has been doing this--and that's just ugly and awkward and ugly again, because it's all true, it's all undeniable, and it's all so fucked up, and right there in black and white, in emails, and screenshotted. Sounds pretty terrible, right? And yes, sometimes I've said things, like could you please put this up, but I've stopped, because what I had would then be joylessly posted, like it was done so while the person was having a root canal. Not a single kind adjective, and then you look at everything else with the press, every post and retweet on an author's behalf, over the dumbest shit, too, and shit that isn't anything at all, and it's splashy superlative followed by huge superlative, and the exclamation points. It's not that anyone thinks it's fitting or deserved, because no one thinks anything that is honestly positive about that awful book that no one can understand by that professor who has never done anything else and never will. But they want to do that and come across a certain way for someone else. And it's easier to. Because it's same level. It's parallelism.
As I said earlier, I worked on two stories. They're from my new cluster of works. I continue to break so much new ground and write things that surprise even me. Where it all comes from, I almost don't know. All of it is so new. They're not the stories I need to be working on, insofar as I "need" to be working on anything right now. That is what I mean. The hopelessness. Let's say There Is No Doubt had a medal pinned on it by the god of reality saying it was the best book ever. That really doesn't matter right now for me. It does not help at all. Or it wouldn't help. In fact, that's the problem. I walked five miles and ran 5000 stairs.
I'd like to see you not be a bitch tomorrow and work harder. I get that this is the most miserable life ever and it feels like it's always getting worse. Somehow. And you're alone and no one likes you and it's not like even friends or family ever have a kind word and there is a double standard in effect here that is unlike any double standard this world has known. I get that. Who couldn't at this point, if they were up close and personal with this, unless they didn't want to get it? And you're shunned. And horrible, horrible, horrible fucking evil people with no talent are just having everything gifted to them by other people just like them. And there is no bigger problem than greatness and that is the ultimate mind fuck in human history. The greater the greatness the worse the situation. You have no one. I get that. You beg people, your people, for the smallest things when you give so much of yourself to them, but it doesn't matter. You need to find a way to find faith and keep going with the expectation and hope that your day will come and then you are the decider of everything who will have to beat away the masses away just so you can have a little peace. You need to believe in that and that there will be millions of everything--positive things. The things you want and deserve, and, more than that, the things the work deserves. Find a way. Stay with me. If you die right now, if you give in and end your life, this is not going to happen. Hold harder.
Okay. I'm off to Starbucks to read a bit. Or sit. Or something.
Back from the cafe. Got some flowers. Went to the Golden Goose. Was going to get some pizza, but when I was at the counter, the guy asked me if I wanted pizza, and I thought if they're asking me if I want pizza without me saying anything, I'm eating too much pizza, so I got some Swiss cheese instead which I use for sandwiches because Swiss cheese is low in sodium. Read some C.S Forester and what he had to say about novels. Deep breaths. Slow down. Handle this stuff that needs handling right now. Put the time in with Same Band and get it right. Concentrate hard on EU and make that what you do going forward. Focus on that relationship between you and the novel--daily. Don't race and scramble to add more. Eventually everything is going to be fine the way you want it to be fine.