Welcome to Might As Well Write, my newsletter for cynical writers looking for practical hope!
Its tagline is “Darkly encouraging advice for creators who aren’t quite ready to give up,” and a logical question you might have is what I mean by “darkly encouraging.”
See, you can go to any number of places for delusional milquetoast advice about “following your dreams” and “sticking with it” and “applying butt to chair” and all of the usual cliches.
But if you’ve been creating for any amount of time in the 21st century, where “content” is literally piped down the street to every house and more people want to make it than to read it, you know that the usual platitudes just don’t cut it anymore.
Yeah, yeah, Grandma Moses got started painting at 78 years old. Let’s see her start a TikTok.
What if you had a friend who knew just enough about being a success AND a failure in our current creative “marketplace,” who’s sold some fiction and gotten a few nice notices but isn’t fooling himself? What if that friend was willing to answer your questions with total self-destructive honesty…but also ready to share the tiny but powerful flashes of hope that keep him going?
I can be that disconcerting but helping friend!
Sure, a “successful” writer can tell you how they did it, and the answer is almost always to work hard and be lucky. I’m here to tell you how to work hard even when you’re unlucky, how to hold on and find the reasons your art exists for you.
(Until you do get lucky and can start the wealthy and decadent stage of your creative journey where you throw whiskey bottles at the people who used to love you.)
That’s what I mean by “darkly encouraging”: I’ll never lie to you that a creative life is easier than it is…and I won’t lie to you when sometimes it’s worth it.
Most of your online creative advisors will give you this:
I’m here to give you this:
If that’s something you’re into, please return frequently for more advice!