An Interview About Writing on Medium

Why do you keep writing on Medium?

What do you mean?

Why do you keep doing it?

First off, I write for myself. Then I sometimes post things on Medium.

You post on Medium almost every day.

Ok, maybe this is true but I write for myself first.

And you post on Medium because it says you have over a thousand followers?

Yeah, it is kind of cool to think that I have that many people reading my stuff.

You know that is a big bluff right? You know that this is a huge, well thought out scam played on writers?

What are you talking about?

I am talking about manipulating writer’s deepest sensitivities and longings. The creators of Medium have found a way to do this. Every writer dreams about having over a thousand or thousands of readers. But you don’t have a thousand readers on Medium. You are lucky if you get ten. The people who designed Medium just set things up so it seems like a lot of people might read your work.

Why would they do this?

Because, it keeps people posting content to their site. What better way to keep people posting content for free than providing them with the idea that lots of people follow their work. It is a genius concept but the trick is being played on the writers. Medium consumes content in the same way that your stomach consumes endless amounts of food. They live off the content posted to their site. They are sucking writers dry so that they can continue to thrive. And what do writers who post on Medium get?

What?

The illusion that they are being read by many. Now maybe if you post popular kinds of content you might get more readers, but still it is not as many as you think.

What do you mean by popular writing?

You know, the stuff that the not so smart masses want to read. The stuff about how to become a better and more productive person. The stuff about technology and business. The “How To” stuff that people consume and then forget about in a few days because they have moved on to the next meal. This is the stuff that Medium fills up on. They are just a consumer of endless amounts of motivational and technological content. None of what is being written on Medium will matter in a few years, let alone a week.

Shit, that is bleak.

Yes, and you try and post quality, creative stuff on Medium. You try and post what could be considered literature but no one wants this kind of content on Medium. It is not easy and motivational enough. It makes readers to aware of parts of their lives they wish to forget by reading popular motivational content on Medium. The irony is that in a hundred years, some of what you post on Medium may be the only stuff still being read.

So you are saying that Medium is a good long term, preservational platform for my work?

It has that possibility for you. You can use Medium in the same way that they are using you.

How so?

You let them manipulate you into thinking you have thousands of readers and you let them consume your hard-earned content for free but you potentially get a platform that will preserve your best work for centuries to come.

Hmmm. Never thought of it like this.

Medium is filled with a sea of crap. Often it takes humans half a decade or more to find the quality stuff. Medium is one safe space for your work to dwell in obscurity for a while. You are the fish out of water on here.

But if I was a fish in the water with all the other fish, I would have a lot more readers. I could possibly make money and get more known from what I write.

Yes, but your work will be completely forgotten in a hundred years. With what you are writing now- you still have a shot. Short term pain for longer term gain.

Interesting. Well, thank you for the perspective. I really appreciate it. It helps.

Sure. Oh, and also for what it is worth- you might get a few more readers now and then if you get better at editing what you write.

Yes, I know but I am imperfect when it comes to this skill. I do the best I can. Besides, few real writers are ever any good at editing. I am perfectly comfortable with fucking up. A real writer without an editor is like a bike without a rider.

I understand. You do the best you can with what you got. There are some real writers, as you put it, who are also really good at editing.

Yes, I know. But they are not the majority.

Yes. This is true. A real writer is good at creating the soul in what is written and an editor makes the soul presentable to the reader. This is why most writers are not real writers- there is no soul in what they write. It’s almost robotic.

Exactly. But the editing is great.

Yes. True.

Well, thanks again for your perspective.

Sure. Keep at it man. Don’t give up. You are good at what you do.

Thanks.

Things All Over The Place

Things all over the place. Someday, some yet unknown civilization will study us and think that we had things all over the place. We are consumed by our things and few things ever remain in their right place.

I love some of my things, but does this mean I need to have things all over the place? Has humanity really evolved to have this many things all over the place? Can our brains really handle all these things all over the place? Just about all of our homes have things all over the place. There are things everywhere, too many to name.

Some of us are lucky enough to have the time, energy and/or money to have things continually kept in their right place. Few of us are disciplined enough to keep everything right where it needs to be, at all times. After all, this is the only way that most of us could maintain sanity and stability with things.

We have built our lives in order to have things all over the place. This is what we do. This is where human ingenuity has landed us. We labor away and then we collect things. It is fun buying things with our hard earned cash. If we did not do this what would be the point of our labor? We certainly don’t love the things we do for cash so we better enjoy the spending of it.

We end up with things all over the place.

What we did for fun becomes an excess of things all over the place. Memories materialized into things.

And now our lives become about keeping things in their right place. Learning how to not get so angry when things are all over the place. Figuring out how to keep things from getting all over the place. Straining our relationships because of the stress of having things all over the place. Not spending our time more meaningfully because we are too tired after dealing with things all over the place. Wishing we could just be comfortable with things all over the place but never being able to achieve this ideal.

Those who are perfectly at home and relaxed with things all over the place are the enlightened beings in our day and age of too many things all over the place.

Our world is surrounded by things all over the place. The inside of our homes is a reflection of the clutter all around. Everything is out of place. There is clutter everywhere, unless you are fortunate enough to live where no one else or only a few are around. But chances are you still live in a home with things all over the place. We live in a world of things all over the place and our homes become microcosmic portraitures of this macrocosmic crisis.

It is inevitable. When we live with things all over the place our inner worlds become filled with things all over the place. Everything is out of place on the outside because everything is out of place on the inside. Or is everything out of place on the inside because everything is out of place on the outside?

Thoughts all over the place. An endless number of things to get done. Different feelings running into one another. Continually trying to get things organized on the inside but never feeling able to. Looking towards drugs and alcohol to help us straighten things out, if only for a minute. Meditating, doing yoga, going to therapists, reading self-help books, going on retreat- all in the hope of effectively dealing with these things all over the place.

No scientific research is needed to tell us we live in a world, inside and out, with too many things all over the place. We are buried beneath these things, always struggling to find a way to get things in order. We struggle to remain organized inside and out. We try as hard as we can to deal with things all over the place. But more often than not, our only shot at survival is to say fuck it and accept that this is now a world with things all over the place.

On Becoming A Gopher

I never imagined this sort of thing possible. How? There is nothing online written about this. None of the great philosophers discuss it. No contemporary theorist makes any mention of it. No one seems to have ever heard of such a thing happening to a person. But it is happening and it is happening to me.

I know it sounds odd to say, but I am becoming a gopher.

The gophers had been destroying my lawn. I hated them and did whatever I could to get rid of them. One day I was running water from my hose down into one of their holes. The water shot out and up into my eyes and face. I tasted something that tasted like fecal matter. I instantaneously become unwell. There was a metallic taste in my mouth and my eyes burned. Ever since that ordinary morning in my backyard, nothing has been the same.

I have grown hair in areas I never before grew hair. Short, stubbly hairs to be exact. On my ears, my cheeks, my arms, the palms of my hands, my forehead, my penis, the soles of my feet, my shoulders, my fingers.

I have had difficulty breathing. My breathing is shallow and fast. There is the continual presence of chest pain. My rib cage feels as if it is being squeezed together. I am in a continual hyperarousal, anxious state. Everything freaks me out and when it does I become immediately mad. I continually play with my penis to calm my nerves.

I never did any of this before. I was a respected psychotherapist for Christ sake!

Rather than being angry at the gopher holes in my lawn, I am now drawn towards them. Something is pulling me towards them and I have this odd desire to squeeze my way down into them. That is where home feels like it is. In those holes. Obviously, I can’t fit.

Instead I have been isolating myself in my writing studio. I have covered the door with books, furniture and anything else that will prevent anyone from coming in. I want to have nothing to do with the human race. Humans terrify me! Once I loved helping humans and now they absolutely terrify me. They are such a threat. I go out at night and collect food from the kitchen while my wife is sleeping, but I then immediately retreat into my safe space and erect a strong wall that not even the police and fire department have been able to break down.

I don’t want to see anyone. I am repulsed by any kind of high pitched sound. I chew on things. I lick myself in areas I was never able to lick before (the one benefit of this entire nightmare). I am terrified and nothing on the internet is helping me to figure this out. Once you cease to be a normal human being, the internet is no longer of any use to you. Accept when I look at pictures of female gophers I am incredibly turned on. I immediately masturbate. This is odd not only because images of female gophers are turning me on but also because before all of this happened, my sex drive was gone.

I don’t know what to do at this point. It is obvious to me that I am becoming a gopher. At this point I have no choice but to just wait things out in here.

Anyone else out there experience anything like this before? Please help

My Sleeping Wife

Every morning starting at 8, I begin the long process of waking up my sleeping wife. She sleeps in the nude and at around 8am all the blankets are pulled off and her naked and supine body just rests there. Sometimes I imagine that this is how she would look if she were dead. The bedroom is completely dark even though the sun is very much new and alive outside.

I tell her it is time to wake up but she does not respond. I go back to reading my book.

At 9am I remind her that she is missing the best part of the day. Mornings are a time of renewal. Everything has a fresh start and is yet to be destroyed by the rest of the day and night. I try to entice my wife with a cup of two hour old coffee heated up on the stove, but her body refuses to move. Looking at my wife I often think how good her body looks in the nude but how much better it would look if she would just move.

Sometime at around 11am I return to the dark bedroom and remind my wife that she is sleeping her life away. By this time her body has shifted into a different position. Often she is laying on her back and I will notice if her pubic hair remains untended to. Sometimes I will receive a response from some part of her that is still alive, which says something like, I don’t want to get up. Please just let me sleep. I love you. She seems agitated but calm and indicates that she wants to be left alone. What kind of thirty-year-old woman sleeps like this? Isn’t this the time when a young person should be most engaged in life? But I keep these thoughts to myself and let her sleep.

At around 1pm I will ask my sleeping wife if she would like me to bring her some lunch and she always answers no. Sometimes she will even say that she needs to be careful with her weight so please do not entice her with food. But doesn’t she need to eat? I will think about all the things which could go wrong from a lack of nutrition but not say anything about it. Not to mention what happens to a body when it goes without any sunlight. It seems as if my sleeping wife just wants to hurry up and be old.

In mid-afternoon I confess to becoming mad. What kind of way is this to live? She is neglecting so much in her life? Why can’t she just get it together and wake up? If she would just start exercising everything would feel better. She needs to wake up and tend to her life! It is just not healthy to be in bed this long. All these thoughts and more start racing through my head at around 3 pm. What I do not seem to understand is that my sleeping wife is tired of life. She can not handle the load of responsibilities she must tend to as an adult and would rather just remain asleep. I don’t think this is a good coping mechanism.

I realize that my wife is a shy person who does not enjoy interacting with most people but this is no way to avoid the world. At around 5pm I will tell her this. I will tell her that being an adult involves doing a lot of things that you do not want to do and this is why most adults are terribly unhappy and addicted to so many things. Rather than sleeping all day I tell my wife that she needs to find healthier ways of being an adult in this messed up world but my wife just continues to sleep. At this point she is usually laying on her stomach, on top of our comforter. I notice how healthy and appealing her butt still looks. I feel my libido spike and I want to reach out and touch her butt. I always abstain because I know she would become violently angry if I invaded her space. I think about masturbating right there and then at the edge of our bedroom but never do.

At around 7pm I go back into the bedroom, this time frustrated and indignant (it is the same every day) and notice that she is not there. She has finally gotten out of bed and is either standing naked in the kitchen or she is naked on the toilet. If the human animal could be in a state of hibernation all the time I know my wife would never get up. But because she exists in a human body she must wake up. Often I will find her standing in front of the refrigerator eating various forms of vegan food. I will ask her if she wants me to make her something and she always says no. I will ask her if she heard about the most recent terrorist attack and she always says no and that she does not care.

At around 8pm, after taking a long shower, my sleeping wife is back in bed and will remain there for almost another twenty-four hours. At this point I no longer bother her even though I am completely frustrated by this on-going situation. I understand that this is how she is choosing to respond to living in the messed up adult world but I feel like there are more proactive and responsible choices that she could make. But what can a man do whose wife has decided to remain asleep? You try waking a sleeping wife up. Any attempt to intervene just pisses her off. I have learned through time and effort to let her be and instead make friends with my own loneliness and despair by reading a lot of books.

I am usually in bed around 10pm and try not to bother her.

The Pervert’s Guide To A Small Town

Hello there. I have begun a new writing and drawing project on Tumblr called The Pervert’s Guide To A Small Town. I don’t know why I am doing this but it may have something to do with being a pervert living in a small town. Please feel free to come and join me on this perverted journey. Thank you.

Making It As A Writer And/Or Artist

The first trick is to not let the depression of not making it kill you. Everything else is easy in comparison.

I have no idea how to make it as a writer and/or artist. I have been trying for over two decades and am only a bit closer than I was ten years ago. I have tons of unfinished novels and graphic novels and short stories just sitting there waiting to be edited and sent out into the world. But for whatever reason, I have not been able to finish any of it.

I write these blog entries (or what I like to tell myself are essays) because it is an easy way to create something and be done with it. But at the end of the day self-publishing these blog entries (essays) amounts to nothing. I am no closer to reaching my goal of making it as an writer and artist than I was decades ago. If anything, blogging just slows that process down.

So who am I to write about making it as a writer and/or artist? Nobody. I have no idea how to do it. For me, it is like trying to solve a crossword puzzle that is in a language I do not speak. I just can’t seem to figure it out.

But if I do know something about something, what I know something about is the process involved in making it as a writer and/or artist. I know this part of the work very well because I have been stuck in the process for the past twenty plus years.

The one and most important thing that I want to say about the process involved in maybe one day making it as a writer and/or artist is that it is a real son of a bitch. It will never leave you alone. It is like an itch that you can’t scratch. You will always feel like you should be working on something. That is ok though. As annoying as it is, when that goes away, you are done.

As long as you still have this unscratchable itch to write and/or make art, to be somebody as an artist and/or writer, the hardest part is keeping that itch alive. To keep the itch alive you must be fully committed to it. You may become a doctor, a business manager, a real estate agent, a psychotherapist, a waiter, a police officer, a teacher and on and on. After all, we all have bills to pay if we want a decent life along the way. But you must see these jobs as just a way to buy time. You are never able to fully commit to any profession other than that of being an artist and/or writer. Whatever you do for money or whatever schooling program you may be in, if you want to ever make it as a writer and/or artist, you have to always see these things as just a way to buy time.

Everything the writer and/or artist does prior to making it as a writer and/or artist is just buying time. You are just fooling people just enough so they will pay you to do something but your heart is never really fully in it. The moment your heart is fully in doing whatever it is you do to make money, you are finished in your process of ever really making it a writer and/or artist.

This is the hard part. Hard because most will never, ever make it as a writer and/or artist. You will just be buying time for your entire life. Some, the few, will make it and even if they are in their sixties when they do, it will feel great. But most will never make it. I am probably one of them who never will. But by just living a life where you are buying time so that you will not be fully suffocated by economic demands and end up giving up on your dream of one day making it as a writer and/or artist, I think is worth something in the end. In the end, what will matter most is that you stayed true to yourself. That you continued to try. That you stuck with it. And even though a lot of depression will come along with your lack of success and the hardship involved in continually trying but not getting anywhere, the depression and despair will ultimately (if you are lucky) be the fuel that keeps you true to your vision.

This is how I guess one makes it as a writer and/or artist. You must remain true to your vision. You must buy time and be prepared to lose everything. You must find ways to cope with the depression so it does not end up killing you (and your vision) too soon. And if you keep at it, if you keep slaving away and are lucky to live long enough, maybe you might just make it as an writer and/or artist someday. Maybe not. But that is not what will matter in the end, I suspect.

Buy time.