Here’s a thing I wrote a couple of weeks ago for the newsletter:
I’m possibly still brain-dead after the show launch. It’s been a busy week, so busy that it’s kept me away from focussing on writing (focus again). I have managed to fit in thinking time — that’s frequently a different muscle — and am developing some ideas in odd moments here and there. I have a few surprises in store, but for much later in the year.
I mean, when I say “fallback plans”… I’m not a great planner. I wing it, a lot. I listen to the world and try to tell which way the wind is blowing. When I say “plan” I really mean creating the possibility of opportunity. I till the soil to try and grow my own luck. I create options. And I invent things, relentlessly. I am solidly a second-division writer, at best, by any model and definition. But I’m still here because I work and think, a lot, to make new things and try new things. Giving the fuck up is not on the menu.
I mean, I’m often a few years too early or a few years too late with my moves. But, hell, I’m still here. Sometimes, being here and still trying to be better is all the victory you need.
Dwayne Johnson, who fascinates me with the weird position in the culture he’s taken, recently gave a talk in which he said, “at some point you’ve got to be fucking tired of not being number one.” Which is fair, and motivational. But, at some point, you’ve got to decide what you’d have to give up to be number one and whether it’s worth it.
I don’t give up. But I don’t give up myself, either. So I won’t be number one. But I’ll still be me. You have to be okay with that trade. And you have to be okay with looking in the mirror and still seeing a recognisable version of yourself. And if you smile, then the smile has to be real, whether it’s rueful or not — not brave, desperate or terrified.
Still winging it. Still fine with the ride.