It’s been 2 1/2 months since my very first entry. In fact, my list of entries finally stretches to two pages! It’s time for a blog progress report — blogress report.
Pro: I’m glad I finally got the blog up.
Con: Where are all the entries? As a perfectionist, prolific-ist, and all-around self-flagellant, I’m semi-dismayed by my output level. In this fast-paced, interconnected world, it’s quantity, not quality. Well, a little bit of both, but who are we kidding. If someone glances at an entry and sees a photo or title that doesn’t pique interest, the reader will just move on! So I can’t be so precious and loving about my single entries.
Pro: So much has happened this summer!
Con: Then where are the blog posts about it? See above. Ever since starting this blog, I’ve felt like Guy Pearce in “Memento.” It’s not like I was an avid journaler or documenter before (though I did have a stint in my teens with the platform OpenDiary, in which I obsessively chronicled EVERYTHING in this tortured, purple-as-my-namesake prose). But ever since having the figurative blinking cursor and blank screen of this site hovering in the background of my conscience, I’ve felt a lingering guilt at the lack of entries.
Pro: Though it may not seem like it on first glance (“Inner Winner, Outer Doubter”), I’ve been blessed with a Lady Gaga-like confidence in myself and my prospects. Though her music and chicanery aren’t always my cup of tea, I very much respect The Gaga Formerly Known as Germanotta’s yen for effective self-mythologizing. I wholeheartedly admire her raw talent, and more importantly, her absolute conviction in her raw talent. I love her quote about her anonymous pre-success days: “I’ve always been famous, it’s just no one knew it yet.”
Con: No one knows I’m famous yet. I don’t mean to sound cocksure, or self-impressed. And I’m positive these attributes don’t sally forth in my offline dealings. (The phrases “self-effacing,” “cripplingly self-conscious,” and “shy Violet” have been used.) But since I left Variety in January, there has been a lot of rejection. I feel confident in admitting this, despite my Chinese heritage and the fact that I was raised by avant la lettre Tiger Parents.
I always enjoyed the White Stripes song “Little Room.” In it, Jack White (who’s now outed himself as a crazy after that Karen Elson divorce party and the absolutely unhinged emails he wrote to Elson this year, but nevertheless) chant-sings an artist’s journey, in which you start out in a “little room, working on something good. But if it’s really good, you’re gonna need a bigger room …” Then he sings something about selling out and keeping your head. (Or, if we are to view it through the prism of recent events, badgering your ex-spouse and manipulating domestic courts into ruling in your favor?) My point is: to my immodest internal judge, my stories and scripts feel bigger-room ready. But nobody has tapped my shoulder and said that it’s time to leave the little room. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Just kidding. Things haven’t gotten so bad that I would earnestly quote “The Great Gatsby” as a comparison to my plight.
I was going to make a crack about how I found The Great Gatsby engrossing as a historical work-in-context, at age 15, but that adults who seriously cite it as a favorite work, or who allow themselves to be swept up in the facile fashion fads showcased in Baz Luhrmann’s mess-looking film adaptation from earlier this year, are of questionable taste and fortitude. But after writing this whole post, I remember that the creative world, and the literary life, are extremely hard. Every creative act is in some way an act of bravery. No matter the scale or merits of their efforts, those who go out on limbs are constantly buffeted by a cruel barrage of gavel-banging, and each sting registers. So I needn’t contribute to the critical cacophony. And in conclusion, may I please remind you (Cher Horowitz high school debate style): Only God can judge you. Forget the haters, ’cause somebody loves you. (M. Cyrus, 2013)