Good morning crickets. Welcome to day number three-hundred-sixty-one of Operation Achieve Anything. Ever since Christmas Eve I’ve been going through my Facebook wall deleting old posts in an effort to make my profile more presentable. As I said in yesterday’s post, I’m now seeing that I use social media the way I tried to use open mic nights during the half year or so when I actively attempted to live out my dream to become a stand-up comedian. I did five or six performances and never once felt comfortable on the stage.
I’m now realizing that my biggest problem was the way that my brain parses information makes it difficult for me to articulate my thoughts clearly when I attempt to speak. I’m fine when I’m talking with friends who I’m comfortable with where the ideas just flow off my head. This is because I know we can always double back if I skip a step in my logic since I have really weird thoughts in my head. When it comes to performing, I’d get so worried that people wouldn’t see the obscure connections that I make that I get too stuck in my head as to how much rambling is informative, versus what seems like I’m talking just to hear my own voice.
As you can see how I tend to over explain my every thought through my writing, this same process is going on in my head as I attempt to talk, but I have no backspace button or ability to wait until I’m ready to post my final thoughts. Add to that the pressure of the spotlight and audience, I would often end up traveling down roads in an effort to save a joke, and end up completely lost. I just wish I had the confidence to ride it out because I feel like if I could see the audience more as a friend than a judge, I would have been a fun addition to the stand-up world.
I was the same way with my writing. I wrote ten feature-length screenplays before I attempted to put a real effort into selling one. Yeah, I sent query letters to agents and production companies, based on advice from How To Make It As A Screenwriter books, but I was just testing the water until I landed my first b-level celebrity to attach themselves to one of my scripts. The failure of this project sent me back into my cave where I would only passively promote my work to friends, who could do nothing with it, especially before I started to work in film, or enter my work into contests, hoping to just luck into success.
I don’t know if anyone that I’ve ever known closely fully understands just how shy that I am. When I first joined social media, it took me months to make my first post because I was terrified of being judged by others outside of my tight circle of friends. Just like meeting friends in real life, I started out testing the water by throwing out my random insights/jokes. Once I started to get a response, the floodgates were open. I know to some it looked like the ramblings of a madman, including me, but looking back, especially as I scroll back, I’m starting to see that I did have a plan.
I’m now seeing that minus social media, I would have never worked up the nerve to publicly share my work again after my first active efforts led to failure. None of my short films would have ever been produced, I would have never worked in film, and there probably wouldn’t be TheWickerBreaker.com. I’m probably still be working at some shitty job, settling into a nine-to-five life, living out a lonely existence, wrangling words that would only be read by myself, and I’d probably end up stuck writing in the same exact style.
I used to want to keep my social media page as is to show all of my scars, all of my trials, all of my errors, in my effort to share how I grew to become who I am no matter how ugly it could be. Now, I’m looking at my history with social platforms as a first draft, and now it’s time to do some editing, now that I feel like my time on social media is about to wrap. I’ve been fantasizing of the day when The Wicker Breaker page earned enough of a following to where I could just delete the entire account, but since I’ve gone back and removed all of the drunken ramblings, complaints about sleep, and subtle cries for help that went unanswered, or worse, were cheered on, I’m now back to being proud of my wall.
From here on out, every year, around this time, I plan to go back through all of my social media accounts and clean out all the nonsense, plugs, memories that bring me down, and failed efforts to be fun again. Those who may feel like they’re being edited out of my life, Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind-style, you’re sort of correct, but if you’ve seen the movie, I’m having the same exact hard time that Jim Carrey did while going through this process. I just feel like I need to silence my past in order to move forward.
This way, I feel there’s more potential for healing so that someday I may feel healthy enough to revisit these old friendships. As is, there is just too much pain holding on to old thoughts that I don’t think I can stomach ever seeing anyone I once knew ever again. I promise anyone who may read this that it’s not personal at all. If you are one of these people who may feel hurt as well, then please try to remember, I’ve always been extremely open about how I’m all or nothing when it comes to how I divvy up my heart, and I just can’t give it my all through random text-based updates.
Hopefully, now that I feel like I’ve found my non-screenwriting voice to continue to develop through this blog, I’ll grow to be more and more comfortable in my own skin once again to actually have a concrete identity that would inspire me to get back out there into the real world. That’s not to say that I want to go back to the old ways. I just no longer want to feel like a ghost, which is another reason for my silence, since I always felt that the fact that nobody knew how to help meant that nobody really cared, so yeah, there is a part of me that’s selfishly/bitterly showing what it would be like if I was dead.
I know that this sounds like a childish punishment, but it’s also a punishment to myself for always feeling like a performer and not a true friend, thinking my jokes alone were enough to show that I cared, being that I never wanted to burden anyone with my problems. I know that even if someone did reach out, I’d find a way to joke and play as if I were just exaggerating or just caught up in a moment of sorrow and not in a lifelong existential-crisis. Throughout this site, even though I often share how I interpret my interactions with others, I’m just trying to share how I got to where I am and not trying to push the blame. I just haven’t fully let down my guard enough to accurately express my emotions.
I may still not be where I want to be, but I’ve also never been more confident in my life that I’m, at least, heading in the right direction, and, at least at this point, I need to take a break from constantly looking back. So if you’re a friend and feel like you’re getting the cold shoulder, you’re not crazy, but the silence isn’t coming from a place of hate, I just need to fix myself so that I don’t get rebroken is I attempt to reach out.
I guess this fulls yesterday’s task where I was supposed to come up with a plan to stop being such a poser and start being my genuine self. With that, it’s now time to address the assignment for today, where I’m now supposed to explore my current status with my friends. This is going to be another rough one as it’s probably going to expand on what I just wrote up above. Of course, you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to see what I manage to come up with, but until then, it’s now time for me to sign off by saying, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.
Talk to you soon.
The Wicker Breaker
P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.