Some time last week, my nightly Corona drinking, idea sketching, deluded thought harboring, multi-tasking Office watching frenzy reached a fever pitch: in a fit of optimism, I submitted a writing sample to the editors of a site called Soul Pancake. The site is a compilation of writing, art, questions and conversations created and run by the actor Rainn Wilson, best known as the maniacal beet farm owner slash paper salesman Dwight Schrute.
Rainn, as it turns out, is a real person with an inspiring history of hard work and creative endeavors behind his 44 years. From what I've learned, he's the type of star that uses his fame to help leverage other artists out of obscurity. Also awesome: he was raised in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. Hey-oh! So did I! (Well, he went for a little while, then he transferred to NYU.) Of course, he now lives in Scranton, PA (anyone! anyone?) No. Stop. He lives in LA now. But I was equally thrilled to discover that his wife, Holiday Reinhorn, also went to UW and studied fiction writing. Hey! So did I! I even remember studying some of her work in my intermediate short story seminar.
(Side note: why is anything writing related always referred to as a 'workshop' or a 'seminar' - why can't we just call it a class like the rest of the academic disciplines? Damn writers.)
So anyway. The very next afternoon over breakfast, I received a message from one of the content managers at SP. This was less than twelve hours after I sent over my submission. The email began with this line: "I'm really impressed with your writing and I have two immediate offers for you" and, three paragraphs later, ended with "I promise we'll try to challenge you creatively, emotionally, and cerberally (sic) and make you laugh. A lot. Often at yourself."
I never thought that the hours I spend alone between 8pm and 2am, writing outlines of stories I never write and conducting google searches of my favorite performers would pay off, but I think this proves that it can. Not necessarily that it will, but that it can. Which leads to tonight's lesson, ladies and gentlemen:
Whatever it is you love to do when you're alone, do it with conviction. Plenty of people will tell you to go to bed, and that you spend too much time doing it and for what, and that it will get you nowhere. Don't listen to them. Because you never know. You know? Yeah. And while I'm at it, treat each small victory in your life as your Big Break. It's a much more fun and celebratory way to go through life. And the truth is, it genuinely could be. You just never know.