It's true. I think if there were a picture to post alongside the definition of pulling something off by the "skin of your teeth," my gawky and awkward senior portrait would be right alongside it.
School was a pain in the ass, throughout most of my illustrious career. I can't recall a single subject where I didn't struggle with some element of the curriculum. It always came down to abiding by formulas, sticking to a blueprint, and making sure you plan and execute every detail in order. The more I had to adhere to a certain way of doing things, the more I shut down mentally.
I don't have the type of mind that can do things as instructed. (Sorry Mom/Dad). However my brain developed or whoever dropped me on my head (Mom?/Dad?) - it is what it is. The more I (or other people) tried to correct it, the worse it got. I would say that my education was frustrating a majority of the K-12 run.
That's where I became lost in books and movies. Usually the same ones, over and over again. I found sense and logic in a world that was constantly lacking logic or fighting back. I needed to drown in a place where you knew the good guys, knew the bad guys, everything was at stake, and you knew what and who to root for.
I knew that I wanted to be a writer...
And that was when the journey got even more frustrating...
Once I knew that I wanted to be a writer I wrote and read until the sun went down and my hand was cramped past the point of usage. I relied on no particular style, no particular method, and with no clear ending in sight.
I was told this was wrong.
I was told, by most every instructor, that my way wasn't the proper or logical way to write. I needed a blueprint. I needed a formula. I needed to stick to a method of doing things. Naturally assuming my superiors were correct and smarter than I was, I pushed myself to "stick to a blueprint." And, just I had proven to myself back in grade school, the more I tried to do things the "proper" way - I mentally shut down. My writing sucked and I couldn't draft a proper blueprint to save my life.
I thought I wasn't a writer. I thought I was a hack. I thought maybe my goofy face and frame should switch careers and become a body/stunt double for Paul Reubens or Jim Carrey. I told myself this wasn't my forte.
Yet, I couldn't stop writing... I kept coming back to it. It was almost like me denying writing was the same as me denying the fact that I'm a white boy who likes Def Leppard. However my brain developed or whoever dropped me on my head - it is what it is.
So, I kept writing... and writing... and writing. I didn't stick to a blueprint, I didn't outline a formula, and I went by the seat of my pants in an attempt to stumble across a good story.
Honestly, I'm glad as hell that this is how I write. I would never trade my way of doing things for any other, because it's dishonest. Because it's not fun. Because it's not me. Because I would never have written a book if I did things the way other people said I "had" to do them.
I had to get there on my own.
I may be off the beaten track, I may seem unorthodox to the untrained eye, and I know my work isn't perfect, and as well it shouldn't be...
...but hot damn if I won't bust my ass to make it entertaining.
"THE FEVER DREAM" will be available November 25th.