Journaling is bullshit

I've been trying to journal. But realized something important.

Journaling is bullshit.

I think.

The act of processing and writing one’s thoughts inadvertently creates a form of fictionalized reality. The writer of the journal — particularly if that writer considers himself to be a writer-writer — can only filter his thoughts through his writer-writer brain. He doesn’t simply document his thoughts, feelings, and truths. He creates an inherently fictional version of those thoughts, feelings, and truths.  He cannot write without writing like a writer. Word choice, syntax, rhythm, all of it. He writes with the idea that his writing will be read, even if he doesn't expect for it to be read by anyone but himself. He does it anyway. Because that’s what he does. He's a writer. It's like a form of muscle memory. And that impulsive feeling of “read me” that the writer experiences translates to “like me” or at least “engage with me.” He wants his reader to feel what he feels, even if there is no reader to read his writing and feel those feelings. But he wants to be felt. So he has externalized the internal and put the responsibility of engaging with himself on an imagined reader. An imagined reader that will eventually be a real-life reader? Perhaps.

But if that imagined reader is imagined by the writer himself, is that not a form of himself? So is he then engaging with himself, through his writing, in a quote-unquote, healthy and proper way? The way one should when one journals? I suppose it all has to do with the goal of the journal. Why is he doing it? To clear his mind? To expel demons? To discover something new about himself? To trudge up old and possibly forgotten memories? To eventually have his private journals discovered and read and admired and appreciated? To publish them as a book? All of the above? Maybe. And isn’t that the goal of all personal writing anyway? Is that why writers write memoirs? To understand and be understood? But again, who is doing the understanding? Is it the writer, or is it the reader? Does the writer first have to understand the writing before the reader can? Or is it okay for the writer to lack understanding of his own words and ask the reader to find meaning? And if that reader is imaginary, conjured by the writer himself, is the writer then sifting through his own chaos, organizing and understanding his ideas as both the writer and the reader, the performer and the audience?

Is this a performance? And is this writer performing for himself? I suppose so. At least until someone else reads the words. The first audience member to arrive at any show is the performer himself. Well, maybe there's a crew guy putting up lights or whatever, but I hope you get what I mean. The performer is the one who put pen to paper. The one who transferred thoughts into something that can be understood outside of his own mind. He hopes.

So in order to understand the truth, the writer must first understand the fictional version of the truth. Right? Or is it vice versa?

Anyhow. This is me journaling.

A Tyranny of the Muse graphic novel? You know it.

Artist Dave Chisholm and I are working through a brand new edition of Tyranny of the Muse. Tyranny was a series of individual issues (5 of 'em). But now we're putting it together as one massive graphic novel.

The story is being partially redrawn, re-edited, and expanded into a full-on graphic novel with all new story and art. This is the way I always intended for it to be and I couldn't more jazzed about the whole thing.

Have a look at some brand new pages illustrated by Dave and written by me. These aren't in order. But they're pretty sweet.

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We're currently looking for a home for the Tyranny graphic novel. So if you dig this stuff and want to see more, drop me a line.

Follow me and Dave on Instagram for more teases as this project progresses.

Last chance to get Tyranny of the Muse 1-4 in print (plus some news)

The first 4 issues of the current run of my comic series Tyranny of the Muse are going out of print. So now's the time to snap up some copies as they will never be printed in this form again.

I have a limited quantity of each issue, so hop on it, because once they're gone, they're gone.

But what does this mean? Does it mean Tyranny of the Muse is dead? Far from it, friendo. Tyranny of the Muse is not only not dead, it's more alive than it's ever been. Tyranny of the Muse will be re-launched as a graphic novel. This is how the story was originally meant to be read. So it's been a long time coming. And not only that, but the wonderful Dave Chisholm (artist of issues 3-5) is re-drawing what was originally the first 2 issues of the comic so the art is consistent and flows nicely from chapter to chapter.

I'm super excited for the next step in this thing. And I think you'll dig it too. I'll post more on this very soon.

But for now, get these super limited comics right here.

My media consumption

I stole this idea from director Stephen Soderbergh. He releases a list of all the stuff he watched and read at the end of every year. It's fascinating to me and I've always wanted to try for myself. Not sure why. But here it goes. This is a list of all the movies, TV shows, podcasts, and books I've consumed so far in 2018. I'm not including music because my listening is too chaotic and constant. 

I'll update the page at the end of every month.

Click the thing to see it and judge me on how much Jeopardy! I watch:

Reading at Dog Eared Books

I'll be reading a short story titled "Three Red Buttons" as part of Quiet Lightning's Literary Mixtape at Dog Eared Books Castro in San Francisco on March 5 at 7:30pm.

Quiet Lightning's Literary Mixtape is a free event featuring all forms of writing without introductions or author banter. Folks just get up and read their stuff. Should be a fun night.

My story is a sci-fi-ish bit of weirdness about losing oneself in work. I think you'll dig it.

The first 100 people who attend will get a book called sPARKLE & bLINK featuring the stories and poems from the night for free. Which is super cool.

Come say hello.

Dog Eared Books - 489 Castro St. San Francisco - March 5 @ 7:30pm

559 songs I liked in 2017

Here are a ton of songs I enjoyed in 2017. 21st century technology has turned me into a massive shuffler. I love when everything is mixed up. When a power pop song from the '80s is followed by an experimental ambient track which is then followed by some dreamy indie rock which is then followed by a classical song which is then followed by a country tune. I love the whiplash.

So at the start of each year, I create a Spotify playlist called "Songs I Like" and proceed to dump stuff into it as I discover it. I usually find songs from other Spotify playlists, movies, recommendations from friends, blogs like Aquarium Drunkard, the incredible freeform radio station WFMU, and other places. There's a lot of good in here, I think.

By the way, I listened to a lot of Craig Finn in 2017 and you should too. He's the best storyteller going.