The most important thing I've realized is that I am not a great writer. I am not a writer like Nietzche that suffers to live and dies by the pen; I'm no Baudelaire or Poe, no Tennessee Williams, no Rilke.
I have imagination; I can tell a story, and I'm completely solid in front of even the most rigid audience, but all of this only makes me one of those "you just have to meet her" writers,
which does not work so well on paper.
Yesterday, I was reading through old literary journal and old publications, when I realized that my writing is no good. I read the work of other people I used to know, people I never liked so much, and for the first time, I was blown away by their work, which is when all of this made sense.
I knew this girl for a long time, but I never talked to her much because she was one of those girls that had family that use to be real rich some time ago, and that money haunted her and everything she did, which made her seem like a real grey person. We went to high school together, community college together, and finally, we went to university together,
which is when we became friends for a little while, and things got strange, which mostly happened because of her 60+ year old French boyfriend, that owned some strange dating website, lived in a big, old mansion in St. Petersburg, and had his face peeled back so many times, the initial character was unrecognizable.
He paid for her plastic parts too, and he passed a decent bit of crucial judgements on all things, including me, which may have happened when he went away, and his giant chocolate poodle died when she and I were staying at his beautiful, piecemeal house, with the beautiful, ripe garden. He liked ripe things,
and he was horrible, and she knew he was horrible, which made her worse. She could've been okay, if it wasn't for that grayness, that green shadow she was always chasing. I forget the last thing that old peeled back goat said to me; I only remember arguing with him because he said it, and her saying nothing, and all of us knowing that we weren't going to know each other anymore.
The garden was nice, but everything else was so rotten, which made her writing inconsequential, no matter how great it was, no one could remember to read it; no one but that goat was in her corner, and that's the point, I think.
I'm not a great writer, but neither was Bukowski, neither was Kerouac. Whitman wasn't so great either; Frank O'Hara could be considered a "you just have to meet him" writer, and Socrates was too.
The point is, being not so good isn't so bad, it just means I have to keep meaning it; I have to keep moving and keep trying until I have more than just a few great things. I can't be fearful of movement because movement is the only thing I'm good for; I'm not talented enough to stay in one place. I don't have the skill to lock myself up, say it one way over and over again because that one way is so great.
I have to keep moving, keep exploring, adventuring and being as fearless as possible; I have to keep living in the way I want my work to live, and if I do, it won't matter if I'm not a great writer.
When I'm living, I don't even care; the value of that world doesn't matter to me, and truly, that is the only time I've ever written anything I meant anyway.