Getting Back on the Bike

I fell down a YouTube black hole of street bike gangs. Waves of riders doing wheelies down public highways in broad daylight. It felt like a surreal version of Mad Max. Oddly dirtier because it's real. A snapshot of another side of the world. Like Florida or something.

What really had me scratching my head was what would happen when a rider would crash. The gang would huddle around him until he caught his bearings and jumped back on the mangled bike. They kept momentum. No hesitation. Just ride. 

I've zipped by the crossroads and fallen off my bike.

Where am I? In the Land of the Occasional Blogger. And I hate it here. As hard as it is to dive deep and write something meaningful every week or two, writing about not writing is leagues worse. 

My great idea for sending out weekly emails didn't work out. I think I meant for it to be easier and more fun, but it ended up being too easy and not done. It didn't stir me to hunt down new things to share, and I don't think I was contributing more than anyone else does on their social networks. 

The truth is I need to get back on the bike.

Like Kevin Smith. The Jersey-born writer/director almost swore off filmmaking altogether. He polarized people by making an indie horror movie like Red State after being known as the silly goose who made Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob. But the truth was Smith found a new platform - podcasting. He started smoking weed when most adults stop and Silent Bob became talkative Kevin Smith. 

And then there was Tusk. Born out of that cloud of weed smoke on Smodcast episode #259, Smith jumped back on the bike with a vengeance. He wrote the dark story of a man maliciously turned into a walrus against his will. Yeah. 

Better yet, this is just the beginning. Tusk is the first of Kevin Smith's Canadian trilogy. Yoga Hosers, the second film of the trilogy, is set to rock the world soon. The new trailer gives you everything you need, including mini Nazi bratwurst soldiers.

You might be concerned for a critically-acclaimed comedy director turned podcaster and wacko B-movie maker, but it makes perfect sense for no one other than Kevin Smith. The truth is when you're making something genuinely your own, you're flexing the hardest part of creativity: you're asking someone to see you, completely. Personally and professionally. Will you hire me? Will you read me? Will you hear me? Will you get me?

Lead signer of The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer once said, "Asking is fundamentally about connection, and so is art. When you boil everything down to its simplest components, little protons and neutrons, art is about people connecting with people at a really, really basic level."

As hard as it was to ask everyone to sign up for weekly emails, it's even harder to admit I don't want to do that anymore. While writing something original might be difficult, it's worth it. I realize that now. It might suck up my brain on Sunday afternoons, or get me out of bed in the morning, but I'm willing to do it again.

Louis CK put the final nail in the coffin. The comedian inspires me with every single email he writes. Because they are so few and far-between, they feel important and personal. He doesn't feel the crushing need to stay relevant by bombarding your inbox and attention. He just offers himself. He writes in plain text and says thing like, "Hello donut eaters and those who don’t eat donuts (I think that covers everyone)."

The fear has always been that people would be annoyed or disappointed in my infrequent posting or jumping around, but that's part of my life and my creative process. Shit happens.

And all I'm left to ask is will you get me?