Last Monday, David Duchovny discussed his latest novel “Bucky F*cking Dent” at the New World Stages in New York City for Hudson Union Society.
Duchovny spoke about a side of him that most people are not used to…his literary side. The actor best known as Agent Fox Mulder (The X-Files) and Hank Moody (Californication) received his education from both Princeton and Yale, majoring in Literature. He didn’t know what he was going to do with his degree, except maybe become a literature professor.
Instead, while at Yale, he became interested in acting.
Now, he’s returning back to his literary side. For those who are writers, his talk is very inspiring and funny. For those stuck in a rut, it’s good to know we’re not alone, especially when a critic enters your mind of how you’re not good enough.
Here is the audio from his talk.
I originally was not going to attend this event, but when Hudson Union Society sent me an email saying I could go for free, I decided to go. You could say that was the universe encouraging me to go. I had no idea that this would not be a talk about Duchovny’s acting career, but a discussion on being a writer.
The main thing I learned from Duchovny was this…write for yourself. Don’t write for anyone else. Just write for yourself. Tell your story, don’t let others tell your story for you. You have an opportunity to be the narrator in your story and tell your own tale.
Looking at this site and my novel, I realized that sometimes I let my mind think of what other people want and what they want to read. I waste so much time trying to figure out what to write for other people that I forget why I write to begin with.
I shouldn’t care what other people want, because I stop being true to myself as a writer. I have to focus on telling the story I want to tell. I find that people are more inspired from what I write when it comes from a true place. People can sense your passion and admiration. It gets them inspired as well.
Writing from a cold place…one that is reporting and uncaring…I’m not telling those stories anymore. I am going to remain true to myself as a writer. Thank you, David Duchovny, for reminding me of who I am. I am a writer.
For those who are writers, I highly recommend listening to the audio from his talk.
I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to go back and look at the puzzle pieces in my life. I’m thankful I’ve kept this blog over the years so that I can see the life I lived. There are things I don’t understand like why I’m in this present moment, but going back and reading the entries over again, I start to remember the steps along this path.
Over this past year, I’ve been struggling with memories. I lost the majority of them after my surgery last year. I had cognitive issues prior to going into the surgery (a side effect of too much calcium in the blood). But this could also just be a side effect from the anesthesia. Who knows. All I know is my present struggle I have with both short and long term memories.
Because I know I have cognitive issues now, I’ve been taking steps to re-learn a lot of things like math. It’s hard knowing that I used to be really good at math, and now all of a sudden I don’t know how to add 2+2. I give up the second I have to multiply anything. I count using my fingers and then get so flustered when I don’t understand what comes after 11.
There are days math is simple and I feel like I’m remembering the simple math. Then there are days when it just doesn’t come to me.
The doctor says I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s. But the fact remains, something happened (or is happening).
Writing used to be extremely difficult. To combat that, I’ve been writing more and reading more. I edit more, too. I go back and read things a good 10 times before I publish. Then after I publish, I end up editing it another 3 more times. But the important thing is, practice makes perfect.
I didn’t start this post to talk about my cognitive issues. I wanted to talk about those puzzle pieces.
A few years ago, my Moroccan friend Driss told me to take a look at my life. This life is leading somewhere. I just have to figure out where it’s going. It’s apparent that all of the pieces are in place. I just have to figure out what it all means.
Going back and reading the posts over this last year when the signs kept saying “Go back to the beginning” and “Start all over again,” who knew that starting all over again would mean wiping out so many memories from before.
I even wrote about ‘Re-Branding Yourself.’ Ends up that’s what I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on. I didn’t realize how re-branding myself would take me into a whole new territory. The direction I decided to take myself and my career ended up being a lot harder. It meant more research. It meant going out and meeting the people I need to know and learn from in order to make this next step in life. They say that when you are on your path in life, you attract the people to you that will help you along the way. The universe will drop into your lap the tools you need in order to grow.
Who knew that going to meet Anne Rice and see her speak about her own career would put me in a unique spot where I realized I’m learning about the changes in going from a hockey writer to a novelist. Hearing her editor speak alongside her helped me realize this unique opportunity to learn what it was I was writing. What set Anne aside from the rest, she was innovative. Interview With the Vampire had never been done before when it was released back in 1976. That was what made it so important.
I thought back to what I was writing and realized…this has also never been done before. As much as I complain (mainly to myself) that there is nothing out there for people like me, I realize that’s because I need to create something for people like me. If that means diving into insanity and hoping I come out alive, then so be it. That may be what it takes to write what needs to be written.
And that has turned into its own theme in the re-branding: to write what needs to be written. What I mean by that is the reason why this blog exists…to help others in the grander scheme of things. If telling a story of someone’s struggle in life in order to get to where they are today helps someone else out there, then that’s the story that needs to be told. You never know who is reading. Just being honest and truthful will help not only yourself, but others.
In the re-branding I noticed the theme in my work that was being repeated over and over again…telling the stories that will help others. Those stories are going to be my main focus.
I also wanted to make sure I had more fan engagement when it comes to hockey, so I changed the way I covered and wrote about hockey. In other words, I’m investing in the fans just as much as they invest in me and my work. I’m giving them different content, but content they will enjoy.
I’m also spending a lot more time researching different subjects pertaining to the content I’m developing. Sometimes this research is hard and difficult to absorb because of the shock that goes along with it, but it needs to be done in order to understand the bigger picture as a whole.
What this all means in the end is that for what I want in this re-brand, it takes a lot of work…much more work than I’ve ever had to do before. Things in life have always come very easily for me. This time around, I want things to be better than they ever were before. I’m branching out of my own comfort zone because I want something bigger out of life…something I’ve never had before.
As I move into the re-brand phase, I am constantly reviewing who to affiliate myself with. I’m looking for the things that are missing in this world, and I’m trying to fill it with an answer. The key to being innovative is to deliver something new to the people. Along the way, you have to pay it forward. Helping others that will help you, those are the people you work with. Most importantly, you promote people that deserve it. Just like if you deserve to be promoted, someone out there will notice your work and promote it. They’ll tell others about you and what you’ve done. Some times, word of mouth is a much louder advertising device than just an ad you pay for. Those are the people you aim to be your audience.
It’s just funny how everything changed last year and I’m now looking back and understanding that certain things had to happen the way they happened in order to push me in a new direction. Starting over again meant starting over bigger than before. That only means that it takes a lot of hard work to do what I’m trying to do. Hopefully, what I’m creating is the right thing in the long run for everyone. It’s amazing to see just what I gave up in order to push myself forward.
The road ahead requires a lot of hard work, but I’m up for the challenge. After all, if the journey isn’t difficult, when you reach the top, did it truly mean anything in the end? What every person has ever told me…it’s all about the climb.
I just finished reading “The Septembers of Shiraz” by Dalia Sofer. It really made me think a lot about religion, privileges and circumstances.
I’ve learned over the past few years that it is difficult to be friends with people that are not in the same class as you financially. The main reason has a lot to do with how money makes others feel.
For those who have abundance and can buy their own freedom, they can’t trust those who do not have these same privileges. Why? Because the green eyed monster can take its toll. In places like Iran (where the setting in this book takes place) where the mullahs rule, having abundance is looked down upon.
They will rob a man who worked hard to have the finer things in life. They will say that they have a right to those things. They take from others what they did not earn. They justify their thievery by saying that someone who worked hard for those things did not deserve them.
The thing is, we see this everywhere. People who are less fortunate blaming those who are fortunate and worked hard. That’s not to say that everyone doesn’t work hard. It’s just sometimes people think that people that are more fortunate didn’t earn it or work hard for it. We all do…but the type of labor performed is different in every circumstance.
Some people work 18 hour days and even though they have a family, they are married to their work moreso than to their own families. They miss out on that treasure because they’ve determined that providing for them was more important then nurturing them.
Others make their family their priority, and in some people’s eyes, that makes that family the richest family around. Some people can’t have a family, so seeing a couple with a few kids running around will make them a little bit jealous.
What one man’s fortune is can be different for the next man. It doesn’t always involve money. Being fortunate requires a lot of work in life (no matter how it’s performed). We oftentimes give up one thing so that we can have another thing.
I gave up the thoughts of getting married and having a family of my own because I was more fortunate in my career. I’m already well aware that if I were to have a family I would have to choose whether to give up my career or let my children be raised by nannies. With the way my life has been going, it’s better to just forego making that decision and continue doing what I’m doing…that is until God changes my circumstances.
A lot of people assume I’ve always had money. The truth is…there was a time when I had to hit rock bottom in life and try to be the starving artist in order to realize what it was I wanted out of life. I remember how my diet consisted of chicken broth (which ironically is still the case but that’s due to different circumstances).
During that time, I didn’t have a choice…I could only afford chicken broth. Now, it is a choice.
I always like to remind myself of where I came from and how I rose above those circumstances to be where I am today. I was fortunate in my path in life. But this is my path. It is not meant to be traveled upon by anyone else but me.
We make choices as we go along this path in life. We have a choice of suffering or letting go of the suffering and realizing that we don’t have to suffer in life. We are in charge of our own life and the choices we ultimately make. Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” is a great example of this.
When people allow jealousy in to dictate how they will treat the next person…it’s not right. Shakespeare did not call it the green eyed monster for nothing! Jealousy is a monster. It changes people. It makes them bitter, evil and mean. It does not serve anyone any good to be jealous. It only promotes more hate in the world.
The “Septembers of Shiraz” really made me think a lot about life and our circumstances. It’s not just a story of a Jew that is thrown in prison by mullahs in Iran. It has a lot of deep meaning to it.
It also really made me dislike religions even more. It’s just amazing how much hate is spread if you believe differently then the next person. To be ridiculed, tortured and forced to believe in something you don’t is to me…absolutely STUPID. Can’t we all just get along?
You believe how you want to believe. I’ll believe how I want to believe. The only thing we can agree on…is just being neighborly. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.