It's hard being a fan. I'm not talking casual. I mean someone who spends every waking minute thinking about something, getting into debates on forums about it on the bus, toggling between news sites on the subject on your lunch break, and coming home to get back to the real deal soon as chores are done. Obsessiveness is exhausting. You expend so much energy on something that you often forget what made you fall in love in the first place. You spend so much time maintaining the commitment that you lose the romance. Every now and then, though, something comes along that makes it all worth it.
I'm an art jock. I love getting into arguments about movies. I spend hours over-analyzing every scene of my favorite shows. I probably listen to three to five hours of music a day. If my favorite player makes a misstep, I take it as a betrayal. If my favorite band releases a shit song, that hurts. I love you; I put my faith in you. How could you do me like that? Well, this past month, I saw something so great that it brought literal tears to my eyes. It was something so beautifully-orchestrated that I was just in awe of what I was witnessing. I was so grateful to be alive to experience this cinematic experience. The particular scene in question was an emotional scene, for sure, but what made me wet was how incredible the writing was. My eyes were saying, “Thank you.” It felt like a baptism. Every disappointing season of television, every stupid book better left on the shelf, every lazy chorus was washed away. The only thing that mattered in this moment was this moment and how cathartic it was.
Sometimes, as a writer, you get a little too comfortable. You think you've got a grip on this storytelling thing. These overpaid celebrity scribes don't have a thing on you. You can predict the end of every Marvel movie one phase before it happens. You might not be a genius but you feel on par with the rest of 'em. Then, you get knocked on your butt. What a fool you were. KO'd without a fighting chance. That's what I live for. I don't do drugs but I imagine that's what they feel like. It's inspiration, a poster on your wall to admire before you lift. If someone could create something so magnificent, then what the fuck have you been doing? You've gotta step it up, now. The goal is to make your audience feel the goosebumps your inspirations have given you. No matter how good you get; you can always do better.
There's no greater point to this article. I just wanted to marvel about how lucky I am to have had that reminder about why I love writing in the first place. For every bad date you have with some weak-ass novella, every time your debate about which Mad Max is the best (Road Warrior, duh) gets a little too heated, every twenty dollar bill you wish you'd have just thrown in the trash rather than donating your attention to some Hollywood turd, keep in mind that true love is out there.