These blogs have a life of their own. This was going to be a serious treatise on "the writer's life" (or should I say, The! Writer's! Life!), but somehow it didn't happen. It's evolving into some sort of nostalgia column, which is a bit alarming on my part.
But oh, these guys.
I stumbled on A Hard Day's Night the other evening, and was quickly sucked in. It had that heady, exuberant feeling the Beatles exuded during the early years, before they lapsed into their jaded I'm a Loser/Baby's in Black/You've Got to Hide your Love Away period. This clip is one of the best compilations I've seen, complete with fluffy head-shaking (which drove the girls mad) and a kind of mad joy. They'd made it past the skiffle clubs of Merseyside and had gone on to (as John put it) "the toppermost of the poppermost!"
Pay attention to 1:18 in this clip: Paul absolutely cracks up at something John has played on the keyboard. These guys were brothers, and sometimes experienced the rancor and Cain-and-Abel rage of blood kin. Yet, separately, neither could write or perform in that same focused, fruitful way. The shock is that they almost never composed together: they wrote songs "at" each other, put them out there and said, "What do you think?", or even "Try and stop me." This jealousy and tension pulled genius out of them that never would have manifested any other way.
OK then, I've come as far as Mad Men and the Beatles. Do you know what I'm avoiding? I do. I am avoiding the welter of pain and residual anguish of being published for the first couple of times. It was a heady experience, to be sure, but at a certain point I fell through the ice. How on earth am I to comment on "the writer's life" without mentioning this? But if I make too much of it, I will be worse box office poison than I already am. Writers must never let on that their experiences have been anything but totally positive. Only ingrates complain.
The truth is, I have a manuscript that I believe is my very finest work, and I have no idea what to do with it, who to contact. I can't do this alone! I am turned away everywhere, before the thing has even been considered. Sorry, we're full up.
I feel as if I am recreating the cold shoulder I have experienced all my life, from every direction and in every area. Is there a way out? I have to pretend I don't need this, pretend it doesn't hurt and I am fine and I don't mind only writing about the past and writing about the Beatles.
This thing is going to die on the vine. In the words of the Beatles: "Help! I need somebody." After becoming a published author, after having my dream come true twice, it's an awful position to be in.