“All I want is to dethrone God so that I can be crucified.”
With just over three weeks remaining until I head to New York and pitch my heart out to dozens of publishers and agents, I haven’t really had a great deal of time to blog. I’ve been so busy brushing up on my pitch and tweaking my manuscript that this poor page has sat dormant, its daily hit count slowly withering away until all that I have worked so hard to create seems forgotten. I’m not sorry though. The past couple of weeks have been integral to my preparation and I’ve grown so much as a writer in such a short time that it feels refreshing to be able to step back into the world of weblogs once more.
In addition to the hours spent labouring over my manuscript and pitch, I have also devoted a fair amount of time to gaining a better understanding of myself as a writer. I mean, I know that I started doing this to cope with the demons inside my head, but I started to realise that what was once my motivation to create wasn’t necessarily the reason I put pen to page anymore. That’s not to say I don’t still have a few issues; I can assure you that my head is just as fucked up now as it has ever been, I’ve just learned to accept my fractured perception of normality for what it is.
So while I was trying to rediscover who I am as a writer I stopped and started to catalogue what defines me an aspiring author, and I came up with a rather obscure little list.
• I’ve fought depression a few times. Writing helps clear my head.
• I’m arrogant and over opinionated. But I’m OK with that.
• I want to be published. Not because I want to make millions of dollars (although it would be nice). But because I want to reach inside the mind of my reader and alter their perceptions on art and the world at large.
• I tend to write about characters that I aspire to be like. But they are often incredibly flawed narcissists and megalomaniacs.
It’s a bit of a strange list. But nevertheless those four points define me as an author. I’m egotistical, yet my own toughest critic. I’m a narcissist but only because I believe that I can open the reader’s eyes to new concepts and ideas. And just like Max Bemis above, I’ve recently decided that I want to dethrone God so that I can be crucified.
Obviously I’m not talking about this in a literal sense. If anyone shows up at my house with a bucket of nails and a cross I’d be less than impressed. And I’m not even talking about God as the omnipresent being mankind believes to be above us. I’m no Aleister Crowley, and there will be no bathing in blood. But I’m talking about the gods of literature. The big name authors who have transcended the medium and become ingrained into the fabric of our society. I want to be one of them. I want to be better than them. But only because I want to know what it feels like to be crucified for my work. I want feel the elation of success, so that I can also feel the crippling sensation of failure.
It sounds counter intuitive doesn’t it? My mission statement as a writer is to become immensely successful so that I can fail. And I want to do this so that I can peel back the layers of my soul and examine where I went wrong so that I can rebuild myself as a more formidable writer once again. I actually don’t expect anyone to understand this. How could they? I, Chris Nicholas, the narcissistic writer, want to succeed so that I can fail. But that’s not to say I will ever intentionally produce a piece of work of substandard quality in order to taste failure. Rather I want produce something so fantastic that whatever comes next fails in comparison. Only then will I ever be able to truly test myself as a writer as I try to do the impossible and out do myself.
So there it is: my unconventional mission statement. I want to become so good at what I do that I spend my entire life competing with myself; constantly striving to outperform the person that I was yesterday. I want to dethrone god, and I want to be crucified so that I can rise again and continue to grow.