Things I don’t like about myself since I moved to LA
[*] I screen my phone calls
[*] I lie more
[*] I watch TV instead of reading
[*] My runs are shorter. I never end them with sit ups
[*] I stopped cooking altogether (down from rarely)
It’s not Los Angeles. It’s me. They aren’t changes I am particularly proud of.
Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
A wholly adequate post, but I think it brings up a certain line of thinking regarding your writing in general- why the lack of depth (by ‘depth’ is meant a lack of awareness of emotion as being a primary factor in all of the trials and tribulations of man)? Why so abrupt? Why not explore at all? Why not give in to speculations and flights of a sort? There is very little of the sensitive young man maturing, and very much of the manchild sourly warring against the last temptations of a dying boyhood in your writing. It speaks to a general barrenness of philosophical intelligence, or, put differently, an absence of an exploration of comprehension of the mental patterns leading to the completion of various maxims for deposit into your steadily growing maxim-bin. If I’m still unclear, the best way I know how to convey the point is with John Updike’s review of Nabokov’s “Lolita” (a fucking masterpiece of a book btw-fuck that Amy Fisher bullshit, this book is art, it is a display of literary genius of a very rare sort-and in the author’s second language to boot. Just read 30 pages and try to not have your mind blown by his wit and mastery of language): “The book is written the only way that prose should be-that is to say, ecstatically.” I see this post as a missed opportunity for that, or, even worse, an example of an unawareness of the importance that such an outlook could hold.
I’m gonna ask the obvious question.
Why to all the above? Are you actively working towards sorting out the negative changes?
On the verge of another meltdown Ted?
Some things are short because they’re works in progress. Some things are long because they’re fully articulated. You only tag “and flights of a sort” on the end of a sentence when it NEEDS to be there.
That’s the problem with transplants. They always think they can resist the urge to hate this city enough to not become a part of it. I give it two more months before you get really desensitized and start cracking out on boba balls and vicodin to break the monotony of eternal sunshine. Marcus Aurelius may have been a pillar of wisdom and conviction, but he never had to deal with the 405. Stay strong.
Similar thing happened to me when I first moved to Manhattan. I did less writing, less reading, less running, and less generally “productive things.” There was always something fun, seductive, tantalizing, and unproductive to do. There were always friends offering these things. It’s impossible to walk 10 feet outside without seeing these things. And I gave in a lot. Why spend all night alone writing when I could spend all night out with friends drinking and hitting on women? And there’s nothing wrong with that. Still isn’t. But I soon had to realize that I didn’t–that I couldn’t–live on a 9-to-5: work, 5-til-bedtime: “have fun” schedule like most people. Like most of my friends. I had to focus hard on being alone and being productive in terms of writing and my other passions. It will probably be a lifetime struggle but I think I get better with it every single day.
(And, yes, I recognize everything I said sounds completely paradoxical compared to the topic of my blog)