To become a great author, stop it with your freaking goal-setting and "manifesting" and instead let this teeming, unpredictable world manifest itself in *you*
Creative genius is not a function of structure, force, or control; it's what happens when external chance and circumstance meet your own unconditional love.
Less than two weeks ago, I wrote a whole newsletter about how nonfiction book proposals need to have a point—and not just any point, a specific kind of point offering demonstrable value to a discrete target reader.
This remains true. However, because we live in a hell of cognitive dissonances and yins and yangs and whatever, so is this: figure out the point too soon, and you’ll spoil the whole damn thing.
You’ll ruin most nonfiction by imposing a point on it too early in the development process. Ditto all fiction—only in that case, you’ll ruin it by imposing a point at any time whatsoever before you’ve finished and polished your manuscript.
Life is meaningless. :)
Ha ha no but really.
Real life has no meanings, no points. Or rather, it has none that are nouns. More on that momentarily.
Static meaning(s) are just made-up little programs humans have invented to retrofit reality so our brains can log on without exploding. If reality were the contemporary internet, in other words, “meaning” would be what enables us to access a text-based version of it using the only computer we have: an early-90s Gateway 2000 running Windows 3.1.
We do all need to get online one way or another. Even in 2022, a Gateway 2000 is better than nothing. Still: no one who’s ever even glimpsed the contemporary internet would mistake the Gateway 2000 version for what’s actually out there. Ditto any oversimplified “meaning” for the reality of how life works.
If you want to capture any aspect of reality in your creative work, you cannot show up having already picked out and assigned it A Meaning. Doing so is tantamount to showing up to a LAN party in the Year of Our Lord Twenty Twenty-Two like: