Instant Gratification

Dear World 

Please Kill Me, 

If you don’t know, I’m on Twitter (@I_AM_ANTWAN …very complicated, I know). Like most of the meat-bags that cruise around there, I spend a fair amount of time checking trends, laughing at comments, and bemoaning the inevitable vomit-inducing Tweet from President Voldemort.  

When I’m not incrementally losing brain cells—updating myself on the latest cancelled celebrity—I’m essentially living in the #WritingCommunity. Not a bad hashtag, by any means.  

For anyone not in the know, a lot of these subgroups contain a decent mix of advertisers, dreamers, doers, and the occasional introspective view. For the most part, I apply my semi-qualified opinion to Tweeters looking for advice, referrals, or just a smidge of encouragement. I’m basically, a dim-light in the dark tunnel that is Twitter (though, you may find one or two…dozen…drunken tweets that I don’t regret).  

Anyway… 

Lately, I’ve been seeing a noticeable influx of Tweeters talking about their WIPs (pandemic related?). There’s no problem with that, of course. The slight issue that’s been tugging on my mind, has been the plethora of repeat Tweets. I’m sure you’ve seen them. “Finally got to 20k!” “I’m nervous about submitting my new work *gasp*” “I’m starting to feel like I’ll never make it.” (Yawn). And various other neutered blocks of 280 characters or less. 

Again, I’m not complaining about the genuine and sincere. Let’s be honest, we could all use the encouragement of random strangers every once in a while.  

*pokes head out of white van* 

“Want some candy?!?!?” 

*looks around for cops* 

What bothers me, is that a lot of these “writers” have been spewing the same diatribe for the better part of the year. This got me thinking: What the hell are they working on? Must be big? 

So, I sipped about half the gin that I had and Tweet-creeped. What I found was that some (not all) had essentially just been visiting random hashtags and posting similarly desperate pleas for attention and undue gratification. As Twitter can be a fairly altruistic lot (particularly in the creative circles) many of them got more than a little attention in the form of half-hearted likes, shares, retweets, and comments. 

All well and good. But it got me thinking about the addicting nature of instant gratification and the potential for it to stifle any real progress. (Hold on to your seats, I’m going to break the fourth wall…Again…I guess. #FifthWall

If we’re being honest, any creative has at least two things in common. Those two things are a. A narcissistic need to express themselves and B. Adulation for aforementioned expression. There’s nothing wrong with either thing, it’s just a fact.  

No?  

I’ll prove it to you. Go burn all of your creations right now.  

*awaiting

“Never mind, I can’t see you…YET.” 

The Point: If it was just for you, you would have kept it in your head. (#Scoreboard). 

Don’t worry, I’m not immune to it either. Do you know how many nights I’ve sat here, refreshing the screen, and waiting for reviews, likes, retweets, blah, blah, blah? Too many. We feed on love and crave attention. We hunger for it, to a fault. This could lead to problems when we find ourselves receiving sed attention and praise, before the work is done. 

So, I thought to myself, are these ‘writers’ actually Writers? Did they used to be? Is the attention all they wanted? 

Yep, it was a little strenuous to fathom but I got there—soaked in thought-juice (from the makers of “THOT-Juice”). So, I bring the issue to you, the ever-present and lurking reader. I won’t share my personal opinion on the matter just yet, but I’ll say it’s curious that some careers stall when the feedback tanks. Curious. 

I suppose this post is more of a warning to those of you who take positive feedback as justification to ‘take it easy.’ Obviously, you should never drive yourself mad getting something completed (because, we want you to make more). Clearly, there’s no problem with rushing, if that’s your process.  

But, if your sole purpose is getting someone to comment, “Sound’s AWESOME,” or “Can’t WAIT TO [INSERT VERB] IT!!” you may need to have a long sit-down with yourself about what you’re trying to accomplish here. Not for me, but for yourself. The only bad writers are the ones not writing. Same goes for every other medium (damn, this got dark).  

And that’s the end of my soapbox moment. Anyways… 

*awkwardly turns away from you

“Good day.” 

*waits for you to begin responding

*cuts you off

“I said GOOD DAY.” 

*thwaps evening cape

*steps in dog poo

Enjoy Your Weekend,

–Antwan Crump


Need something to do this weekend that doesn’t involve a streaming service? Love short stories but don’t know where to find them? Trying to escape the trauma of your childhood (and replace it with new trauma)? Then it’s time you tried Bedlam: A Collection of Things. (Now only $4.99)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s