I’m a powerful man in the failing arts. Whether it was early attempts to lose my virginity, playing sports, or just trying to make a decent salsa. (Which is actually way harder than you think. After you read this go make an attempt. It will probably taste horrible. ) I even did stand up for a couple years in college, which is like asking for failure on purpose. Failure that you seek out every night from strangers. Even waiting in traffic to do so. Ludicrous I know. I guess all I’m saying is, I have a track record.
Then last summer I was approached to put out an eBook based on this blog. I’ll give you a hint. It failed. I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
When asked initially, I was flattered. The fact that someone besides a parent or friend liked my blog was nice. I’d never had any intentions to do anything with this blog except write it really. It was mainly a thing I just did for fun sometimes. Also the word eBook was fairly new to me. I know, I’m a technology grandpa. But the only experiences I had of “straight to eBook” books, seemed to be from authors looking for a cheap way to put out their glamour projects, and self publish. (Which by the way is definitely not true. There are some talented writers out there that are selling the shit out of their work, and more power to them.) I’m just explaining my mindset when I took on this project.
But first, the publisher wanted to test some of my “articles” on their website. I thought calling them articles was being kind, because I write haiku about dung beetles and pizza. But that aside, I thought it was a fine idea. Some were received fairly well, and then others not so well. And that’s when I got my first taste of internet comments. I’m sure you’ve all read your fair share of horrible comments. But I’ll do my best to explain how they feel when they’re written directly at you. It’s basically like enjoying a perfect day at the beach. The sun is out, you’re getting a tan, and the water is perfect. But then, all of a sudden, a giant great white shark jumps out of the water, and bites off your genitals. It feels kind of like that.
After that response, I couldn’t wait to release the book! (Read in a sarcastic voice). Which we did. And worse than a negative response, it got no response at all. Like “Dad, can you tell Grandma to buy another copy” bad. Suddenly I felt like the thing I was doing for fun became a huge chore, that I invested a ton of time in for nothing. I had something new to add to the failure utility belt. Failing the internets. And after that, I didn’t feel like blogging a whole lot. Hence the blog sabbatical. (Cry me a river. Why should I care?) Well, I was just going to tell you! Relax! There’s a light to this long, self indulgent piece of nonsense!
As much as I hated this whole process, I learned a lot. That if I you want to write or create things for any type of audience, there will be people that hate it. Even hate you for that matter. And if you put out something, there’s a huge chance that no one will give a shit. But that’s not a reason to stop making things. I have to create things, because my brain will explode if I don’t get them out. I have ideas that I want made, and people will always have their opinions. I’m a nobody with a very small readership. And I’m sure as hell glad I got to experience this on such a small scale, when it doesn’t really matter.
I will have my first big comic project coming out this year. Hopefully in the next 3-4 months, which I will talk about more as we get closer to the date. But in the current days of twitter, blogs, and anonymous commenters. It’s important to get used to the noise. If you read this far, you are a hero. I don’t normally write this long, and rarely get this personal. But I needed to get this out. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your similar stories of failure. Failure stories are always fun to trade. Also come find me on twitter at @IhateMaxwell too. We can tweet about stuff. Later!