You don’t have to, but listening to “Another Day of Sun” as you read the first however many words of this essay on…self-doubt? (idk) might help you get in the proper headspace. Your funeral either way, dude!
The scariest thing about penning a new Lifting Fog Post™, aside from the forever concern that I’ve “lost my mojo” (Editor’s note: it was never there to begin with), is addressing how much time has inevitably passed since the last one. Now in the Early Days™, this wasn’t much. Hiatuses lasted about a week depending on how many ‘OC’ episodes I’d decided to burn through, and apologies were easier when the act hadn’t yet been abolished by the 45th President of the United States.
Then time wears on and those silent weeks become silent months, become silent years. Suddenly it’s 2015, ’16. The fans are out there clamoring for new #content and I’m over here*, paralyzed by self-doubt and/or women who wisely fled the country. I couldn’t write even if I tried, and I definitely didn’t try!
*Los Angeles, the inspiration for the hit/problematic movie ‘La La Land’
To say “the world is different than it was two years ago” is both obvious and a wild understatement. The world now changes every five goddamn seconds. You just knocked out a Fader article about some band you dig? Guess what — they’re already out of the public consciousness, and three of the founding members are dead. ZEITGEIST WHIPLASH, KIDS. There’s no safe perch.
For those armchair essayists among us, the Internet in 2017 feels especially overwhelming. I mean let’s be real — if you were serious about making money or even just a career from your online writing, it would have already happened. And for the hobbyists, which I’d like to think I am…the persistent thought is “why am I bothering to write when the subject in question has already been covered to death, and anyway I’m stupid?”
You might remember DJ Steve, Lifting Fog Phase 1’s rational half, who was tuned into this particular Internet sad-making frequency long before I ever considered it. He’s still very much alive and he and I still very much bro down (read: pleasantly talk) about the challenges of online engagement. “What’s the fucking point?” is a thing we often say out loud. “Why is that idiot writing? They shouldn’t be writing.” Etc.
But primarily we’re critical of ourselves and of the way we spend our time, which as the years wear on (#aging) we know should be devoted more and more to projects of emotional substance and quality. We want to make an impact! We want to create shit that some kid might make out to (Steve) or use as their reason for pursuing accounting (Henning)! Did you know Orson Welles was only 16 when he wrote and directed ‘Citizen Kane’?! This is the kind of fun fact nipping at our heels, robbing us of any sort of present-day peace.
And yet all of that pressure — the desire to make good work AND the fear that we’re just belching carbon dioxide into an already O²-deficient blogosphere — is just brain business, totally detached from the act of creation itself. Maybe instead of endlessly cogitating over your value as an artists you should just, you know, make something? Maybe you should just fucking try?
If you hadn’t guessed by now, the person I’m talking to…is Henning.
All of this — these now 600+ words — is just a long-winded way of me saying I think I’m going to do some more writing here on Lifting Fog. If you once upon a time liked this stuff, great! If you never liked it, why have you read this far? (Clearly you’re being driven by more than spite, Anker.) I’m tired of feeling dumb about writing; this feels as good a place as any to mitigate the dumbness.
Here’s the thing: Lifting Fog is and always has been a journal for babies. Erudite babies, the kind who see ‘Shame’ in theaters, but still — diapered, tantrum-prone babies. It’s no novel-in-the-making, no digital memoir. Nope! It’s just a place to get churlish and dumb and with the reassuring knowledge that ultimately, none of it matters. (HERE, dummy. Things matter in the world! Nihilism is for chodes.)
Salivating? Here’s some new stuff that may or may not soon grace your timelines:
- Hunting for wildflower blooms in Southern California
- Craft Beer: Is it Over?
- What to do when your younger brother is the “successful one,” at least right now
- An interview with ‘The Arrangement’ author and my boss, Sarah Dunn
- Surfing: Not Just Doing it on the Web Anymore
- An excerpt from a comedy pilot I wrote about a coffee shop called “Bean Me Up”
OH BROTHER HERE WE GO AGAIN.