Another episode of ‘if you’re an author, this is terrifying’ happened this week. Chuck Palahniuk reports that he’s ‘close to broke’ after his literary agency’s accountant was arrested and charged with embezzlement. This kind of story is a nightmare to me, so I’m trying to explain why I have to write anyway.
I can’t expand on details beyond what’s available in the paper. It just feels compelling to say that a story like this represents my worst nightmare as I move forward with Mesh and other projects.
Look, it’s one thing if you’re crazy about money like Johnny Depp. But for a guy who just wants to tell stories and not go broke in the process, this is frightening. How am I supposed to justify this difficult path toward self-actualization, knowing how many risks are involved?
The only answer that seems to make sense is NASA. Hear me out.
When JFK announced that the US would land on the moon by the end of the sixties, the technology did not yet exist for a manned mission in space. Astronauts participated in the testing of rockets, landing vehicles and other tech … knowing that something could go fatally wrong.
The risks did not stop them, and I think in some small way that my journey has reached that ‘I know it’s risky, we’re doing it anyway’ moment. Maybe things will go wrong, but maybe they’ll go right. Maybe it’ll hurt to fail, but we keep going because the pain of forfeit will hurt more.
I hate being in this position. I hate being afraid. I wish it were easier. I wish the path forward was brighter. For now, I have to look at Palahniuk’s problems like every other professional author and say “I know it’s bad, but I can’t let this stop me.”
We know things might go wrong, but for some reason, we’re doing it anyway.
We have to.