Not All Accomplishments Are the Same: LIfe as a New Writer Part 3

continued from…

I kept writing.

I rewrote the entire novel in 3rd person. I created charts and back stories for all the characters. I did research on Prague and read Czech writers in order to refresh my memories of the city and its feel. I fantasized about the money my book would make me once it was turned into a movie. I rewrote it again in first person (not recommended). I wrote the first half at least in six different drafts, but never found my way to the true ending. Simultaneously I was sending out my resume. I sent out applications to jobs, and resume after resume with no response, not even a rejection, till I ran out of all my savings, till I lost the room I was renting, and until I had to rely on the generosity of my friends to house me until I could find work. When I auditioned for Inviting Desire, I was literally auditioning for my life. It was a miracle of fate that the one job that would save me from homelessness would be theatre. It was almost ironic.

While on tour I wrote a half-ass ending for Zizkov. When we ended the tour  and talked about future projects I swore up and down that I would complete this book because although it had an ending it was not finished.

Another year passed, surviving by retail, and various jobs before I could really commit to working daily on my manuscript. On a whim I applied to the Attic Antheneum. At first I was rejected, but due to a drop out and me being next in line, I was accepted. My goal was to complete my novel. On May 27th, eleven years after I knew I had a story I finished the book, but it was not like theatre. There was no applause, no one to clink pint glasses with, and no one to drown in the amazement that it was finally fucking completed. There had been people to support me along the way, encouraging friends, friends that helped finance my schooling, my peers and teachers in the antheneum, but at the end of the road I was alone. It was my idea to take the journey alone and I ended it alone. Sitting in front of my computer typing the last words I whispered a “holy fuck it’s done” and felt a whoop rise up inside me like we just won the world cup, but then I looked around the room, and there was no ‘we’ there was only me. I felt empty, weird, almost apathetic toward my work. All those years of fighting and this was it? It was a who cares? And that was it in its entirety, who cares but me? I was a writer I didn’t need an audience to finish the book. I didn’t need anything but me, and what did I really want? What did I expect?

When you create a play, when you perform, you perform for an audience. Everything is for the play itself and the audience. I can write for an audience and a publisher, after all I did dream about the movie, but in the end that isn’t what it’s all about. It doesn’t take an audience to write a book, in fact, I can just put that manuscript in a drawer or erase it all because it’s finished already, working toward publishing is something completely different. So why did I write it? Did I write it to have my voice heard or was it that I wanted to return to Prague? Was it that I wanted to be someone other than me, and be purely me simultaneously? Does it even matter? The answers were not there for me. So, I turned off the light, closed my laptop, and took a walk to shake off the feelings of loneliness. I had felt like I had just gone through a mutual break-up; we both knew it was over, but why, we had so much love? And still it was over.

As I wandered through the streets near my apartment I heard the following voice of a young girl as she crouched on a rooftop:

I watched as J.P. threw the television from the roof of Jesse’s parent’s house. I don’t know why he does those things. He’s not even drunk. J.P. is straight edge, he just fucks shit up purely because he’s an asshole, but I don’t give a shit, I’m an asshole too.

And I knew I was listening to the voice of a new character, she was talking through me, and she was completely fiction —well—mostly.

And as far as Zizkov and the audience, the publication… I guess I can start journeying toward that road, but that is a different story.


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