Julian seems to be in a bit of a downward spiral at the moment – after his heavily over-subscribed ‘festival’ in Kidwelly [please check that, copy-monkey], he’s now employing security to keep people away from his public talks!
So, it’s time to forget about his problems with grammar (well, temporarily) and send him some season’s greetings. Let’s hope, too, that he gets visited by three ghosts over the next three weeks, and undergoes a positively Dickensian transformation by the time the New Year arrives.
Our tip to Julian as he looks towards 2013 – hunt for positives, old chap!
The thing is, you take an ever-so-slightly negative approach in general, Julian. You’re always blasting this and raving about that and condemning the other – naughty grants for writers, nasty Welsh speakers, beastly internet trolls – it doesn’t seem to take much to get you frothing.
Maybe most of this is displacement activity, triggered by not being able to find a real publisher for what you write, or perhaps even by a grudging admission to yourself that you’re not a very good writer. If so, anyone who has striven and failed, in any field, can sympathise with you – it is a grim and bitter thing to want to be good at something and not manage it, as any Welsh rugby supporter knows only too well at the moment.
Our lives are defined by how we respond to failure, though (anyone can respond well to success, although not everyone does). Do we get up off the floor, rub our jaws wistfully, and then aim for something new? Or do we rage and roar against everyone else who seems to be doing better?
I know you don’t enjoy reading very much, Julian, but it might be worth having a quick squint at Constantine Cavafy’s ‘Il Gran Rifiuto’. My favourite translation of it reads:
For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and by saying it,
he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he would still say no. Yet that no – the right no –
drags him down all his life.
At the moment, your great No seems to be dragging you down further all the time. Put it to one side, Julian – find yourself a goal, something you can work at – it could even be writing, if that’s what you want most passionately. There are plenty of good courses out there, even though some of them are grant-assisted.
And once you have found a goal, focus on it, work towards it, fill yourself with the joy of the struggle, and celebrate those around you who are also struggling towards something worthwhile.
You will find it a far more rewarding existence – and you may be surprised by how many people will want to help and support you when you are working towards something – even more, no doubt, than want to throw things at you when you focus on attacking and belittling the work other people are doing.
Here endeth the sermon.
The monkeys suspect it may take more than kind words to catch Julian on the road to Dimeshq – so, gentle reader, please cross your fingers for some genuine supernatural visitations down at Ruck Towers this Christmas.
[Point of order: Julian refers to this as a ‘fake blog’. It is not. It is a real blog, written under a fake name, and giving very little credit to the team of monkeys who put most of it together.]