An unconventional mission statement

“All I want is to dethrone God so that I can be crucified.”
-Max Bemis.

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.

The Narcissist Veneer

Karma is a bitch. One of my most recent posts was directed at writers who take to their keyboards to bitch and moan about their lives as artists, and their struggles with financial hardship or whatever the hell else they have to complain about. The post was dripping in narcissism and self-indulgence. I claimed that I could bring a better class of post to my readers, and that I would do exactly that. I would not be one of those artists who turn their weblog into a soapbox from which to complain… Then everything fell apart again. Someone pulled back the thin veneer of narcissism that protects me and discovered a soul warped with depression and fear underneath.

Before we go any further I feel that I need to detail exactly what a narcissist is for those of you who may not be aware. Narcissism is most commonly described as follows:

The erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes.

And if I’m going to be honest, that does kind of sound like me. I do thoroughly enjoy the admiration of my own mental attributes (not so much the physical), and I do tend to consider myself to be better or more intelligent than my peers. I have created this whole persona for myself where I am Chris Nicholas: the self-indulgent, slightly arrogant writer who cares very little about the opinions or merits of those around him. I write what I want to write, and I associate with who I choose to, meaning that I often forcibly alienate myself from everyone simply because mankind baffles me and I can’t be bothered to change who I am in order to fit in. I’ve established myself as a lone wolf, with a head full of stories and a tongue laced with acid. My opinions mean more to me than anything and I will literally screw myself out of a promotion/friendship/whatever else, simply because I’d rather be brutally honest with people than kiss arse and do what is socially acceptable.

But like I said, this whole narcissist veneer is nothing more than a ruse. It’s a coping mechanism to hide myself from the world and prevent anyone from discovering just how afraid and alone I can sometimes be. By slipping on my mask of confidence and assertiveness I have learned how to parade myself through life as a normal functioning member of society who suffers from nothing worse than a slight attitude problem. People often comment on my characteristics, hint at my charm, and admire my ability to remain fluid and adaptable to almost any situation. But rather than feel pride in the kindness of their words, I feel a deep sense of sorrow and regret. I am now hidden so far beneath this false surface that no one can even recognise when I am struggling and when I truly need somebody to save me from the torment of my own vicious mind.

I’ve been through depression a few times now, and I can recognise the signs of an oncoming wave of apathy and self-loathing long before it arrives. But what I still can’t seem to do is find a way to actually prevent the self-destructive mindset that becomes all-consuming, threatening to derail my life. I still can’t find a way to stop my soul from becoming increasingly twisted and warped beneath the smooth veneer that shields it. When these waves of indifference wash through my head I throw away everything that I love. I stop writing, I shut out anyone who is close to me, and I batten down the hatches to weather the storm. It’s why I’m often alone. I have a partner, but she can’t ever possibly understand the depths of my despair when it hits. So she watches from a distance, revolted at the sight of a mind quite literally tearing itself in two, purging everything it has previously worked so hard to create.

I’m like this because I create such unrealistic expectations of myself. Although I call my narcissistic streak a veneer, there is a touch of the bastard gene cursing through my weakened flesh and soul. Pride means everything to me and whenever I take to my keyboard I do so with the intention of being the best writer the world has ever seen. When I submit enquiries to agents and publishers I assume that I am guaranteed a contract and that my work is infallible, leaving me vulnerable and distraught if they don’t share my unrelenting enthusiasm for my work. When I started writing at the age of eighteen I just assumed that I would have something in print just as soon as I finished my first manuscript. Now seven years later I’ve failed to achieve that rather ambitious goal, and a piece of me dies with every single rejection letter that I receive.

So why do I continue to torture myself like this? Because I feel that I have to. I don’t feel like I’m normal. I have an innate disconnection from the reality that everyone else seems so willing to accept. That is normality. I can’t see myself doing anything other than writing, and as each day passes and I fail again and again, finding myself perpetually stuck in the world of conventional employment, I grow increasingly distant from those around me. At my peak, I am a knowledge hungry aspiring writer with the world in front of me. At my lowest, I’m a boy lost and alone within a world that he struggles to connect with. Right now I’m feeling more like the latter and my writing is suffering greatly. But with a little positivity and a load of baby steps I’m hoping that I can survive this most recent purge and return to my writing with the narcissistic vigour that has gotten me as far as I have already.

Until then my faithful readers, I apologise for the lapse back into whiney writing that I so often condemn.


“This is real pride in my eyes; it’s not a cocky act.”
-Shadrach Kabango.

As a writer I follow a lot of other writers through various blogging platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr and so on. I follow writers with readership bases that range from thirty to hundreds of thousands, and I sift through their posts in a never ending search for inspiration and enlightenment. In the grand scheme of things my own blog has a readership base closer to the thirty mark then the hundreds of thousands. But I’m comfortable with that, because I’ve never really been one who has felt the need to seek out approval from anyone other than myself. If I write a post and believe that it’s good, I’m happy. If someone else enjoys it too then I’m ecstatic.

Until recently I have enjoyed the regular updates from many of the sites that I follow. I’ve found humour in their words, inspiration in their stories, and for a select few I’ve even felt outrage for their plights or one-sided bigotry. But lately I’m feeling disillusioned with many of the writer blogs that I follow. I have my reasons as to why I feel so cynical towards my fellow writer, and I’ll try to say this as diplomatically as possible. It’s going to sound harsh when I say it, so here goes….

….When did being a writer mean that you have to be a whiny bitch?

Seriously, it’s as though we writers are so desperate to post anything in order to grow our readership base that we have resorted to posting pathetic, poorly written articles about sweet nothing. I’ve read the “steps to growing your readership base” articles, and I know that rule number one is blog often, but in my humble experience blogging well trumps blogging often every single time. Real art takes time to produce, and if you’re churning out post after post at lightning speed, chances are what you’re posting is shit.

I don’t give care about your failed relationships or if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Grow some balls and understand that everyone has relationship issues, and get a fucking job. If you’re like me and you haven’t yet reached that point where you can survive solely on the income generated through your writing endeavours, then get a job, bust your arse, and pray that one day you become successful enough to give up the nine-till-five life. The amount of posts I sift through from struggling authors trying to mooch from their readership base or moaning about a lack of funds is disgraceful. No one is going to pay for your dreams, and no one wants to hear about your desire for them to do so.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

If you’re broke, work. If you’re struggling with your situation, change it. And if you want to be a successful author you need to realise that it isn’t going to happen overnight. You need to put your head down and start producing some incredible manuscripts and you need to want success so bad that it’s your only option.

I used to think that my greatest weakness as a writer was my pride. I’ve always been a man who wants to defy the status quo, and I will forever choose the path of most resistance. The idea of networking with other authors makes me want to head butt a brick wall, and the thought of censoring myself to anyone sends a shiver down my spine. I used to think that this pride in myself would prevent me from ever succeeding, but now I believe that it will be the very thing that sees my work make it into print.

I want to become an author so badly that the thought of failing causes my heart to ache and my breathing to become laboured. I don’t want to be a whiny bitch posting about nonsensical shit. I want to be an author who tries to outdo himself every single time he writes. I want to push myself beyond my own comfort zones and I want to experience the fringes of my own mind. And I want to take the reader with me.

From now on the tone of this blog will change. I’ve had posts in the past that have hinted at my own inner school-girl, but from this moment I aim to bring you a better standard of writing. No more whining. No support me because I’m a broke, lazy as fuck writer styled entries. No shitty half-arsed posts. I don’t blog often, so I plan to blog well. And for those of you do regularly follow my entries, let’s see how far we can take this thing. It’s time to create a blog that I can be proud of. I don’t want to be just another cocky act.

Hail Mary

Relax. It’s not a religious reference, but rather homage to American Football. For those of you unaware of a Hail Mary Pass, it is an extremely long pass made in desperation that has only a fraction of a chance of success. The pass is usually thrown late in the game when a team offers its last stand in an attempt to win the match. Anyone who has ever seen the Hail Mary Pass thrown will be able to relate to the momentary trepidation that strangles the heart as you watch the spiraling ball in flight, carrying the hopes of the team and its fan base on its pigskin body, usually to no avail.

Yet when a Hail Mary finds its intended receiver the crowd erupts and the entire match spins on an axis and forces the opposition into a play to win situation they hadn’t been anticipating.

So why the football reference? I’m a writer. And let’s be honest, writers aren’t usually great sports people. Yet here I am trying to explain an infamous play in a sport that is foreign to my own country of origin. Well the reason is that right now I feel like I’m standing on my own ten yard line staring at an end zone blocked by my opponents, who will do anything to see me fail. But this isn’t an ordinary end zone. I’m not gunning for a game winning touchdown, I’m eyeing off a far larger dream. On the far side of the field located in front of the grandstands and marching band, is a publishing contract and a life changing moment of triumph.

Right now it’s time out and my opponents are milling around in a loose huddle counting down the minutes until they’ll form a line of scrimmage and attempt to rush me and strip my dreams from my fingers. I say minutes fairly loosely, because the reality of the situation is that my window of opportunity won’t actually appear until eight weeks from now when I touch down in New York City in preparation for my Hail Mary Pass.

Nevertheless I’m using the time afforded me right now to size up my opponents and assess the threats that they pose when they try to blindside me before I break into open ground and race to the end zone.

I can see that arsehole called Finance; the big line backer with the bull-neck and ham-sized fists that grunts as he stares at me. He knows that my money situation is fucked and I’m desperately trying to scrape together any kind of defence I can against the heavyset prick who will attempt to chop me down at the knees.

Beside him is Location; the bastard who has displaced my dreams many times before. He plays dirty and chooses favourites on the field. If he doesn’t like you then he’ll hit you hard at every opportunity; and so some reason the bastard seems to loathe me.

And so the list of my opponents goes on as I run my eyes over the huddle. The other writers are there, arsehole agents too. Fear is smiling and patting self-doubt on the back as they make eyes at me, formulating a plan to hit me simultaneously. But as I stare at the congregation of damned bodies watching me through their helmets and grills, there is only one man who I feel actually has the power to intercept my Hail Mary and destroy the opportunity I’ve worked so hard to create; and he looks a lot like me.

As an aspiring writer my greatest enemy is not the industry, my competitors, publishers, editors, agents, nor my displacement from the larger markets of America and Europe. My greatest enemy is myself, and it always will be. See I’m fairly confident in my abilities as a writer. I wouldn’t have won the competitions I have, or seen my work progress so far through screening processes if there wasn’t some level of skill in what I produce. But I also know that I am a bit of an extroverted introvert sometimes and I just hope and pray that when it comes time to throw that fucking pass and chase down my dreams that I have the balls to give it everything that I have.

It’s a confusing contradiction isn’t it? How can someone be an extroverted introvert? And how can they really hope to ever achieve anything if they can’t figure out something as simple as their own personality traits? Well, the thing is that I am incredibly introverted. I like my own company and tend to shy away from others. I don’t have an abundance of people who are close to me because I don’t want to. But for those that are, I aim to protect them with bloody hands if they ever need it. It’s not that I am necessarily shy though. I used to be. Now I’m the complete opposite. I’m confident as hell in myself and my abilities. But I don’t feel the need to take that confidence and turn it into arrogance by shouting it from the rooftops. I’m your quiet self-assured type that doesn’t feel the need to justify myself to anyone… And there in my own mind, lays my problem when I hit the streets of New York in eight weeks’ time.

I have to justify myself. I have to prove to publishers and agents and that I am worth their time and I have to stifle my own ego no matter how much it tells me to revert back the arrogant arsehole I can sometimes be.

So here I stand waiting for the moment when I’ll throw my Hail Mary Pass and try to score a book deal. The clock is winding down and the arseholes in their huddle before me are watching my every move. Finance is watching as I turn my small change into small fortunes. Location scrutinizes my movements as I book flights and accommodation. The other writers gawk at how I present myself and my scripts laden with ruin and woe. The agents watch as I prepare to slide into the chair opposite them and pitch my fucking heart out. And the man that looks like me stares back with an impassive curiosity, knowing that all of his teammates can be beaten and the only man who can defeat me is myself. He watches and waits, knowing that if I am to succeed I have to learn how to be humble and how to grovel. He watches with a sly smirk that says the game is mine to lose.

I may be a superstar in my own mind, but I still need to prove it to others. In eight weeks time when I throw my Hail Mary I need to do so with as much confidence and bravado as I can muster. But I must also do so with a sense of humility that can sometimes be foreign to me.


“I have come to believe that coming true is not the only purpose of a dream. Its most important purpose is to get us in touch with where dreams come from, where passion comes from, where happiness comes from.”
– Lisa Bu

Bone collections & Sonder moments

As writers we often choose to move through the world unnoticed, toiling away at our craft in solitude until we feel that we have created something worthy of sharing with the masses. We are deeply emotional people who moving along the fringes of society, our ever watchful eyes shifting between souls as we try to understand their stories and use them to fuel our own.

We writers are amongst an incredibly small number of souls with the pleasure and pain of understanding the true nature of experiencing a sonder moment; a moment of pure clarity where we stop and realise that there are others out there whose hopes, dreams, and realities differ exponentially from our own. It’s a moment of mixed emotion, filled with pleasure and pain when our own lives are revealed to be just frivolities in space and time which can oftentimes bruise the ego of the selfish man. However there is something truly beautiful in understanding how singularities of flesh and bone that we encounter each and every day differ from ourselves.

So we watch the world and we learn. We learn how to remain on the periphery whilst unravelling exactly what makes others tick. We learn their stories and their dreams and we use them as inspiration to create our own tales of triumph and woe. We writers are the bone collectors of the world. We hunt out the darker impulses of man or the stains those impulses leave behind and we gather up the bones, take them home with us and we study them. We reconstruct and manipulate them, and we create our own stories out of the gristle and marrow.

As despicable as it sounds, we writers seek these moments of sonder not because we care about the lives of others. Instead we long for these moments of intimacy with complete strangers so that we can better understand how to make them feel when we put pen to paper. It sounds unnerving, but I want to know what makes my fellow man feel love, so that I can show him romance. I want to know how he feels hardship, so that I can show him compassion. But most of all I want to understand his fears, so that I can extort them, exposing his bones to the bitter chill of uncertainty and terror.

I don’t expect all of you to understand this. How could you? What kind of man actively chooses to stand on the periphery of society and pick at the remains of egos and shattered dreams like some kind of tormented vulture? The entire concept is reminiscent of sociopath-like behaviour, and yet there are hundreds and thousands of writers just like me all over the world that watch the lives of others through a kaleidoscope of hope, fear, love and anticipation. We don’t actively wish for someone to fail, that in itself would be sociopathic behaviour. We simply wait until the inevitability of failure arrives so that we can scoop up the bones of a dying world and turn it into something beautiful once again.

Perhaps a better title for this post would have been scrimshaw. Since we are on the subject of creating the beautiful out of the bones of the dead why not name the post after the art of doing exactly that? But somehow it just didn’t seem fitting. Why? Because sometimes as writers the bones that we collect don’t always become beautiful pieces of art in the end. Sometimes those bones are too brittle, or too hard, or sometimes the story within is just too wild or convoluted to be told. Sometimes when we collect the bones of our society we end up doing nothing more than examining their intricate curves and faults before discarding them onto a pile of stories that will remain untold. Sometimes, we collect simply to add to our ever burgeoning bone collections.

We are collectors and story tellers, and sometimes a difficult choice must be made between a story that needs to be told, and a story that doesn’t. We must connect with the remains of tales and dreams and feel that moment of sonder so that we know others will feel it to. For if we can make our readers feel something from a pile of broken bone, then we have delivered to them a story worth telling.

A weakness of flesh (Reach for the stars)

‘The weakness of flesh is to settle for less than we have the potential to be.’
-Jesse Leach.

When you read something filled with such profundity and insightfulness as the quote above you can’t help but stop and think about your own shortcomings. How many times have you settled for less than you had the potential to be simply because you didn’t have the courage to push that little bit further, or reach that little bit higher and grasp everything that you have ever wanted? If you’re like ninety nine percent of the world’s population then you can probably think of a handful of times when you’ve sold yourself short for whatever reason. Maybe you were tired of trying; maybe you were afraid of the success you were striving for, or feared looking foolish if you did fail. Whatever the reason is, at some point in your life you have settled for less than you were meant to be. We all have.

If this is true then one must ask why mankind has evolved with such a fundamental flaw in our design. Or maybe even ask how the fuck we ever managed to evolve in the first place. I mean surely if it is in our nature to fall short of our dreams then shouldn’t we have stopped evolving somewhere between a half-formed zygote and a fucking chimp? Whatever, the evolution of the human mind and body is a conversation for another day. All I want to know is if our weakness as a species is to accept complacency, then how the hell am I ever meant to achieve everything I dream about? How am I supposed to become a published author? How am I supposed to see the world? How am I supposed to form meaningful relationships? Or even be happy?

Well thankfully, this crippling weakness that has been bestowed upon us doesn’t afflict every decision or action we make. I can make friends, and I can be happy. I can even see the world if I bust my arse and rustle up enough cash to do so. No, this debilitating mindset of settling only rears its hideous face in the midst of moments or thought patterns that have the power to define our lives. Self-doubt as it is commonly known serves no other purpose than to derail our dreams and see us fall agonisingly short of where we really should be.

For those of you who have been following my web-log for some time now you are probably well aware that there have been times in my life when I’ve settled. There have been moments when publishers or agents have asked me to make minor tweaks to my works in order to make them more marketable or palatable, and in my infinite stupidity I’ve refused. I’ve told myself that I am a singularity (and I still believe that I am a highly unique individual), and that as such I shouldn’t have to change my works to suit the needs of others, no matter how subtle those changes actually are. But what if these poor decisions weren’t me refusing to change who I am? What if in actual fact they were moments of me settling for less than I had the potential to be simply because I was ultimately afraid of what would happen next if I did follow through with something?

It’s an interesting question. And the truth is that there is no real way of knowing what would have happened if I’d been smart enough to follow through with the advice that was offered to me. I could have had a book published by now, or I could have done heeded the advice of others and still failed to secure that elusive contract that I so desperately strive for. But no matter what could have happened, it now never will because I settled instead of reaching for the fucking stars. Because I was weak and I lacked the courage to push just that little bit further in order to achieve I now have to forge a new path forward in this world of manuscripts, agents and publishers.

-I realise that up until this point this post probably sounds a little negative. But I promise you that it’s not. See the thing is that I know I’ve messed up a few potential opportunities in the past. I’ve failed to follow up on rewrites; I’ve abandoned scripts, or burned bridges with publishers and agents. Shit, I even threw away writing altogether for a space in time. But without those mistakes or missed opportunities I wouldn’t be the writer that I am right now. I wouldn’t have the confidence to sit here and acknowledge my weaknesses and faults and I wouldn’t be able to make a conscious effort to learn from them.

Every decision that I make nowadays in regards to my writing I do so with a calculated mindset designed to constantly bring out the very best in me. Take my last post for example: I wrote about my desire to travel half way around the globe to hunt down an opportunity. And I did so because if I didn’t go public with my intentions then I would never have followed through. I would have settled for less than I truly deserved and come July would have still been sitting at home cursing my poor decision making skills for not having the balls to follow through with something again. But instead, I took to the screen and I made my intentions known so that if I pulled out I would have looked like a fool. Two days later my ticket was secured and trip confirmed.

I believe that the quote used to open this post is indeed highly profound and incredibly accurate. The weakness of flesh is indeed it’s acceptance of settling for less than it deserves to be. But you can overcome it. Once you identify a weakness you can turn it into a strength. You can train for it, adapt to accommodate it, and ultimately overcome anything as long as you have the fortitude to keep pushing forward even when you’re no longer sure that you can.

New York, New York

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‘The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.’
-Jordan Belfort.

So there’s this opportunity that has presented itself. It’s a chance for me to actually grow a pair of balls and take my roadshow of misguided tales and prose across the world in the hopes of securing a contract with a publisher or agent. Imagine that: no longer would I be that disgruntled writer sitting at his kitchen table penning his inner most thoughts onto scraps of paper or punching them into a word processor. I’d have made it. I’d be a star…

…Well maybe not a star. But at least I’d finally be taking some serious steps towards my dreams.

This opportunity is the kind that comes along once in a lifetime. An opportunity that would see me sitting face to face with the men and women that could make my dreams come true. I would be afforded the chance to pitch my scripts to them in person; I would be able to field their questions, capture their interests and (hopefully) inspire them to believe in my visions as much as I do. It sounds fantastic. And believe me when I say that I’d do anything for an opportunity like this. There’s just one little problem: that opportunity is in New York City in July of this year. As of right now I’m over 9,600 miles away from where I need to be in roughly five months’ time.

At first this sounds like quite the hurdle. How the fuck does one travel almost ten thousand miles in order to chase his dreams? Well, all I can say is thank God for Orville and Wilbur Wright and their rag tag crew who made their own vivid dreams a reality. I don’t want to sound like a jukebox cranking out tired old clichés, but after taking a few words of inspiration from Mr Belfort above I’m telling myself that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

So rather than do what I would usually do and throw my hands in the air and curse at the world that such an opportunity should arise on the opposite side of the world, I’m trying to take proactive steps to reach out and grab my dreams by the coat tails. My theory is that if I can manage to make that momentous leap and grab the fringes of my dream’s cloak then then I should be able to claw my way forward from there until I’ve got the fucker pinned to the floor.

Right now my novel is undergoing another round of editing. This time I’ve enlisted the help of an editor located in (surprise, surprise) the USA. It seems to make sense to me that if I’m going to take a gamble and try and spruik my wares in the American market then I should get a little insider knowledge from someone already on the scene. While that happens I’m plugging away at my job; busting my arse to ensure that when the time comes I’ve got enough money that I don’t find myself sleeping rough in the streets of New York as I try and hunt down success.

And while all is that is happening I’m still trying to focus as much time and energy on the one thing that keeps me sane in times like these: my writing. I’m still putting pen to paper whenever I can, admittedly I’m currently doing so with a little more direction than usual; which is a small victory in itself. Whether or not I can make this small sliver of an opportunity work remains to be seen. But even if it does fail I’ll know that it wasn’t through lack of trying. For the first time in my writing career I’m prepared to cast aside that bullshit story that I tell myself is stopping me from achieving my goals and give this my all.


Here’s the thing: Respect isn’t given. It’s earned. It doesn’t grow on a tree and doesn’t come attached to a label or title; it’s received as a reward for your time spent in the trenches of life battling alongside your fellow man. Lately it seems as the whole concept of respect is a recurring issue in my life as I stare down the barrel of the monotonous daily trivialities that we all face. I’ve been called an arsehole and an arrogant prick because I refuse to pay homage to someone or something just because they believe that I should. I once wrote a post where I callously referred to myself as the mother fucking greatest, and I still wholeheartedly believe it, which means I struggle to bow down and respect my peers just because they want me to.

Does that make me an arsehole? Probably. But here’s the thing. I don’t care. If you’ve been following my most recent posts you have probably noticed that my confidence as a writer and as a man took a hit recently. I had an opportunity that I truly deserved snatched away from me at the last possible instant because others perceived my inability to follow the status quo as both threatening and offensive. But I’m not offensive. I’m merely different (or better, if I do say so myself), and often misunderstood.

See my catalysts and compulsions are different from yours, and different from many writers who flood the platforms of social media. How many times do you hear a writer say that they write because they have a story to tell? If you’re like me the answer is probably way to fucking much. We all have stories to tell, but that doesn’t mean that they are all worth hearing. In fact, many of them are a downright waste of time. I write not because I have a story to tell. I write because it quells the demons of my heart and keeps my mind from tearing itself in two. I write because I have a story that needs to be told. I write because somewhere, on some level this fucking world needs me just as much as I need it.

But what does this have to do with respect? Well, a lot. See even though I am different and unique I can still appreciate the artwork and lives of those who truly deserve it. We live in a world where the ignorant believe that they are the centre of the universe and that the rest of us should bow down to them. But that’s a half-truth; a mindset that has been blown drastically out of proportion and manipulated to suit the needs of our own egos. You are indeed a singularity. And you are indeed the centre of your own universe. But if you want to be the centre of mine you need to first earn my respect and my permission to do so because it will never simply be granted to you based on premise or title.

If you’re still managing to follow along with this rather erratic train of thought then you are probably nodding your head right now in agreement. We are all singularities. And we are all the centre of our own immediate worlds. But we are also just peripheral entities in the universes of others. That doesn’t necessarily make us any less important than someone else, it just means that we need to take a little reality check and realise that sometimes respect isn’t going to be granted just because we think it should.

My life is a cacophonous collision of activity, thoughts, relationships, hopes, dreams, fears, and movements that somehow meld into the physical and emotional form that is me. I am one of a kind and I deserve the successes, failures, elations, and disappointments that are afforded me. So if your life, your ideas, or status doesn’t garner my immediate respect then you can either work a little harder to prove your worth, or you can reside to the fact that you will forever remain on the periphery of my existence just as I shall remain on yours.

-AUTHORS NOTE. For the first time in almost a month a feel as though I’m returning to form as a writer and feel as though I am once again hunting down my dreams of becoming a published author with an intensity that has been lacking for some time. The arrogance that makes me who I am has returned and my mind is ablaze with possibilities and plot lines.
I would like to offer a sincere thank you to Cristian Mihai for recently featuring my post Monsters, as well as everyone who has re-blogged my works since then. It’s better late than never, but I sincerely wish all of you a happy new year. May your dreams and aspirations become realities during 2014.

Found Again

Morning Contemplation
It has recently been bought to my attention that I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult life following the mantra of concentrating on myself in a fuck who you want me to be type manner that can rub people up the wrong way. I have focused so much energy on being different and being on the outer that I have effectively alienated myself from the very world that I live in, purely for the sake of being an individual. I’ve always actively sort out the path of most resistance and chosen to trek down its treacherous route armed with no survival skills but rather a potty mouth, a chip on my shoulder and a fuck-you attitude that has seen the somewhat difficult path towards success transform into an inhospitable trail of terror and doom.

I’ve undertaken battles with depression, kicking its arse to the curb more than once. I’ve squared off against my demons, my hopes, my fears and my failings more times than I could care to count. But every single time I have told myself that I was doing what I wanted to do, that I was acting in a manner that I was proud of. With willpower you can do anything I’d tell myself. With the stubbornness and intelligence I possess anything should theoretically be possible… But what happens when willpower just isn’t enough? What happens when suddenly all of the ground that you’ve won through those hellacious battles is ripped out from under you like a cheap rug? What happens when that same pride that spurs you towards greatness starts to become the very thing anchoring you to your own failings?

Well, you find yourself where I am right now: back at square one. For all my talk of personal development and growing over the past eighteen months I somehow seem to find myself in a startlingly similar position to where I was back then. I’m still pressed into a corner by all of my failings (which still stand between me and my dreams), and I’m still preparing myself to come out swinging. I honestly thought that I found myself for a while there. For a precious six months or so the world was a glorious place filled with so much potential, but now in the grip of another fucking frustrating bout of writers block I’m starting to think that the world can go fuck itself all over again.

I was lost and I was found through my writing. But recently I’ve shifted my focuses away from what is truly important in my life and I’ve lost sight of all that I could be once more. I’ve become disillusioned and disheartened by rejection and the mundane nuances of everyday life and now I need to be found again.

Right now I have five manuscripts sitting on my desktop in various states of completion that haven’t been touched in almost two months. Five. With the average novel sitting around the sixty thousand word mark I have a rather ambitious end goal of over three hundred thousand words that are currently stuck in my fucking head unable to make that transition from imagination to the page. With those kinds of numbers I should be spending every waking minute pouring my heart out onto my computer screen, but instead I’m walking around in a state of frustrated trance at my own inabilities to find myself within my own thoughts.

So what do I do? How do you find solace in yourself when you’re struggling to reign in the lives of five separate protagonists and their counterparts in addition to your own? What happens when your life as a writer suddenly becomes your life as a mentally exhausted man parading himself as a writer? How do you become found again?
For once, I don’t know…

…That’s right. For the first time in the history of this site I actually don’t know the answers to the very questions that I pose. The self-proclaimed all-knowing mind of Chris Nicholas is actually sitting here pondering over my current predicament without the faintest fucking clue as to how to overcome it. I don’t know how to find myself right now. But I do know this: I am and always will be an individual. I will never fall into line with what others expect of me, and I will never make excuses for myself. I am a writer, a man, a lover and an arsehole all rolled into one. I will always live my life with that chip on my shoulder that says I don’t give fuck about what others think of me. And I truly believe that while I am currently lost within a maze of three hundred thousand words, one day soon my talent and my drive will be found again.

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