Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I turn forty on Friday. I'm getting this downer post out of the way now so I can celebrate myself on Friday like I should. You've been warned.

Thirty was a really hard birthday to me. I had such big plans and I saw thirty as the end of my youth and I had pissed it all away. I don't feel that bad about forty, but I don't feel that I've made a lot of progress in the last ten years. I'm moving in the right direction, but I think I'm going to have to live to about the age of three-thousand years in order to get where I want to go. However, there's a better than good chance I'm past the halfway point of my life.

Sunday night I was really depressed (reading science fiction about the nukes dropping probably didn't help). Why? I'm writing some things that I'm happy with, but the sales aren't happening. I'm tying my self to my work. If it's going nowhere (and I'm strictly talking about popular acceptance and sales here, not the quality of the work) then I'm going nowhere. It seems far too late to do something else with my life and start at square one in a new field, but even if I felt there was plenty of time, there isn't actually something else that I really want to do. On top of this, I decided I wanted to make a living off of my fiction writing about twenty years ago (I don't really see this happening now). I feel like I have to go somewhere with this just to get past it. What I mean is, I want to have some fun, but I have to conquer this writing thing in my life before I can move on, and essentially I drove into the mud as a young man and I've been spinning my wheels ever since. So, the bottom line is my life equals a big screeching halt. This is why I was depressed. I was ready to quit writing Sunday night, but I had nothing else.

I've gone through enough depressions to know where I am in them. I went through the "everything is hopeless" stage and I knew I entered the "I'm going to talk myself out of this, but I don't know how" stage. I can do an entire depressive episode within an hour now, because I've gotten really good at it through years of practice. Finally, I settled on this:

You'll hear people say that they're going to do something or die trying. Often you'll hear this on television rather than real life. I realized that I'm now in the "Die trying" part of my life. I've given up hope of success, but I'm going to carry on, spitting in the face of fate until my last breath goes and I can't spit anymore. It feels very Bran Mak Morn and I think it suits me.

Friday will be better. I like carrot cake and accept all manner of gift cards and cash.


AHS said...

I'm sending virtual carrot cake and best wishes your way! Hang in there. Forty is the new thirty, you know.

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

Thank you, Amy. It's virtually delicious!

Diane Severson said...

Aw, sorry I missed your B-day Matt! Virtual cash coming your way...

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

Thank, Diane. As soon as I see it, I'm heading for the virtual liquor store.