The Grind-ies are the gravelly, down and dirty, mentally painful, zero-to-something thinking, learning, and producing that it takes to create something of your own. The Grind-ies Challenge is a 30 day pursuit to enter the Grind-ies mindset on a regular basis and document the experience.
I had a moment today.
I've begun marketing myself as a freelance writer who can take rough, early concepts and turn them into something usable. I call it "rocks to clay."
It feels like it's the missing element. My other projects have been chugging along, but this feels like a solid layer I can build off.
The rings are aligning.
My inside life was so energized today I had to calm it down.
I thought about everything I've been through.
I know all the tricks of the "be-mean-to-the-person-who-tries" game.
If someone wanted cheap attention from me, they'd say, "How's your book?" When I'd perk up and begin to answer, they'd interrupt and change the subject to themselves.
When I'd casually tell someone I'd spent the day reading and writing, they'd do the quick brush over. "Mmm," then change topics before I could murmur another innocent sentence about it.
An old acquaintance would say, "Oh, you're still doing that?" when we'd catch up.
I remember one time when my magazine was at a small, 4-page, black-and-white stage, my "friend" said, "I don't think anyone is going to buy an ad in this."
Months later, it had totally evolved and was filled with ads.
This girl I dated one time, a local, part-time journalist, jealous she wasn't as serious, took cheap shots at me whenever I didn't know something she did.
After high school, when I was heavily into rap, my sister asked me at a family dinner, "So, got a record deal yet?"
My dad would say, "How many people does this happen for?"
Several people came into my life as friends or roommates and used me to help them make their stuff, then cold-shouldered me as soon as I set boundaries.
People would go out of their way to dismiss my events when I'd only bring them up because they were part of a larger story.
"So after my art show..."
"After your art show?"
"Yeah, I sold books at an event today."
"Oh, I didn't know you did that."
Yes, you did. Everyone does. It's oozing out of me. We don't have to talk about it, but don't pretend it's not part of my world.
Those people weren't around when the heavy, results-driven lifting was being done.
Where were the users and abusers when I was at street festivals dodging moochers who'd only show interest in my booth so they could ask for money?
Where were the doubters when I slept with my arm around my Mac after I sold everything and lived on a lady's couch?
Where were all the people who were "just gonna write a book, put it on Twitter, and have it sell gangbusters" when I'd haul my desktop to the library to write a book while I lived on that lady's couch?
Where are all the writers who were going to "skip the marketing tasks authors have to do because their publishers were going to do it" when I quit my job, sold my car, and moved into a room to give myself more time and focus to write and create?
Where were all the entrepreneurs when I'd take my small business' van to the shop and jog 8 miles home to avoid using my hard-earned LLC money for a Lyft?
Where were all the "how's-that-going-to-happen?" people when I'd sell my self-published book door-to-door? Shaking before I'd approach each door, voice crackin' between syllables.
You didn't love it enough to do those things.
You used creative stuff to get laid and look cool.
I mean, after a life of mediocre choices, you were going to use creativity as a lottery, right?
How'd that go?
Oh, and hey, since you don't ask anymore (you never really did), my projects are still going.
Weekend "wanna be" warriors drink risk-takers' piss.
Nobody believed in me. The only person who encouraged me died when I was 10.
I believed in myself from the gut, from the core.
You can't stop someone like that. All of life's robust forces will lay the bricks they need to take the next steps.
Kiss my genius...
Nope. You're not worth it.
This creative energy came to me and I'll use it for good until I'm pushin' up daisies. Consider this the only attention you lazy leeches will ever get from me. I hope all the weed, alcohol, promiscuity, and cheap thinking you sold your dreams for was worth it.
Of course, everything's my fault.
Bye for good. I have to go build an empire off this sturdy, opportunistic base I built from the sweat of my lower-middle-class, white trash brow.
Hard work and creativity as I adjust myself and wave.
Came from less and built more.
Have fun with your jobs and one-avenue projects.
Time in the Grind-ies: 2 hours, 32 minutes
Projects: work-for-hire gig, FAQs for my freelance site
How I felt afterward: I had to get this energy out. I don't like going to this place, but I had to.