man showing distress

On Fortitude

I have a ton of movies to talk about soon (Slumber Party Massacre I & II, Society, Mother’s Day, etc.) but I’d rather open this season of thanks with some reflection.

Stop complaining.

I love to fucking complain. About everything, all the time, to anyone who will listen. I complained at least three times already today before I sat down to write this blog.

However, it’s generally spiteful, and demonstrates a lack of self-reflection. It shows my inability to take responsibility for the things I can do in relationships, in work dynamics, and in my own work ethic.

We all need support sometimes, and venting behind the scenes to someone who’s there for you is a great way to get stuff off your chest, clarify what’s bothering you and even get advice for how to move forward in a sticky situation. Asking for support from your mutuals is a lovely way to model vulnerability. Giving it back when they need it is how we build community.

Using Twitter as a personal woe factory, though? Nope. I used to do it, and it’s a consummate waste of time. Bonus: it never helped me feel better, or develop any kind of resilience.

Comic didn’t sell? Make another one.
Script not working? Start another one.
Pitch not accepted? Pitch somewhere else.

This is my third time around the block with this process. First time was prose and poetry, second was/is critical writing, third is comics. I don’t know what more valuable advice I could offer than keep going.

Seriously.

Rejections happen to everyone. EVERYONE. You may pour your heart and fucking soul into something that you’ve made, spend thousands and thousands of dollars on it, and lose a ton of sleep over it. The harsh truth of this market is that even if it is actually good, it still might not succeed.

Idea too expensive? Work on another one.
Artist not responding? Contact someone else.
Campaign not funded? Try again.

So what, Cabbage? You’re being too negative and prescriptive. Some people need an outlet, and some people have other things going on that impact their ability to process or hold this kind of disappointment.

That’s true. My point stands and re: outlet, see above. We have two options: keep going, or do something else. I have no real stake in either for anyone, though I do prefer when people keep creating because it means we have more art out in the world.

If you choose to be a creator, you need to create. When it’s hard, when it’s hopeless, when it’s impossible. Life happens and crises are very real, but throwing that up as a self-righteous, defensive obstacle or deflection whenever this conversation comes up is bullshit, full stop.

Story rejected from an anthology? Submit to another one.
Marketing not working? Reassess where you’re at.
Feedback overwhelming? Break it down point by point.

The real truth is that we all need to handle our personal challenges as best we can, get the support we need, and keep trying anyway.

Oh I can’t do this because ______, and fuck you for making me feel bad!

Ok. Cool. I’m not you, so I don’t know what’s valid and what isn’t. Only you do. But I do recommend you try to do the work anyway, in whatever chunk or in whatever timeframe you can, because that’s what we’re here to do. Obstacles happen, and we find ways around or over them depending on what we can handle at the time.

If you don’t want to do that? Also fine. But then you need to stop complaining about it.

I see your 5,000 defensive comebacks to this, I do. I’ve likely given them in the past. Work on yourself.

If I can do it? I fuckin’ guarantee you can too.

Let’s do better, yeah?



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