My last post was nearly totally failed experiment. I did receive some very helpful thoughts on what I should write next, but the amount of fan interaction was slim compared to what a man as famous as I will be should ignite. Oh well. Head is still raised high. You know why? Because I'm the best thing ever.
Since I'm not at all successful yet, can't even breathe the stench of success yet, and haven't even really begun thinking what the real and practical steps toward success are, I can't with all certainty believe that the following statement is true but I declare it anyway: an over-confident swagger is necessary to succeed at writing or art of any kind. I might even go so far as to say that what's needed is a disgustingly over-confident swagger. Cocky even. Conceited? Perhaps a little bit. Self-absorbed? No, I don't think so.
There's a fine line between cockiness and the form of conceit that I'd prefer defining as a sense of intellectual elitism and arrogant self-absorption. Many a good artist throughout history, I'm sure, have succeeded precisely because they are totally focused on the self, but it is not necessary. What is necessary, though, whether the writer or artist wants to admit it, particularly in religious circles, is a self-assurance that our culture has wrongly come to deplore. The wrongness of our current cultural position on the issue is best exemplified in the state of politics today: most Americans don't get involved with politics at all except to vote for a handful of people, if that, to cure the many ills that the average American complains about incessantly--essentially saying, "I can't fix this problem, I'm just one person after all... but I expect this one person to do the job." We've simultaneously demeaned ourselves and expect a handful of people to fill the void. If only we gave ourselves more room to be cocky, we'd be working together and succeeding a lot more often.
When it comes to writing the need for cockiness multiplies. Particularly by my definition of a writer, which I explain in the history page, the writer has to be able to defiantly and courageously declare, "I have something to say, and you should listen." Some might add on to that, "And if you don't listen, I'll pray for you." If the writer is unable to say this, then what's the point of writing? So many great writers would then no longer exist: no more St. Augustine, Voltaire, Locke, Machiavelli, Plato, Dostoyevsky, and on and on.
I think that Soren Kierkegaard best models the attitude that a writer must have. Do a little research on the guy and you'll discover that he sincerely believed that his calling from God was to set the Church and millions of Christians right. Not only did he believe that was his calling, but he also believed that he was the only one capable of fulfilling that calling. Now, millions upon millions of Christians must thank him, if they don't also admire him, for the great influence he's had on the direction of the Church since his death 150 years ago; and millions of others must thank him for essentially being the father of existentialism, one of the more prominent philosophies of today. Strangely, though Kierkegaard has had such a massive influence all the way up through today, his attitude would not be acceptable to us.
If I did not share Kierkegaard's seemingly overwhelmingly arrogance, which is really just a supreme over-confidence and cockiness--mind the difference--then after awhile I'd lose interest in writing. I do not write as a passing fancy, nor do I write simply to be successful. No, I write because I believe I am needed, that you should listen to me, that many others should listen to me, and that without me the world will not properly be able to upright itself.
In a word: I am the best thing ever. I believe that when I walk into a room I possess the greatest intellect. I believe that I see what others do not see, that I feel the way others do not feel, and that I think and believe the way others do not think and believe. I sacrifice for the environment, for the fight against slavery; I love my family and friends dearly; I listen intently to others and believe that I'm made better by conversing with other intellects; I am not a self-absorbed, arrogant, or bad person. Surely I have sinned greatly and God will hold me accountable on the last day if ever it comes, but I do not believe that He will judge me for being cocky and over-confident. I am proud to say that I am. After all, the world needs me. I'm the best thing ever.