Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘in the city’

Low Drama

In alcoholism, anger, Austin, austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, blues, depression, getting sober, going for the throat, hometown, Jim Trainer, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, music journalism, music performance, new journalism, news media, Philadelphia, publishing, punk rock, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, travel writing, WRITER'S BLOCK, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 27, 2016 at 11:55 am

So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here―not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S. Thompson

When I first got into the blogging business, I was up to my knees in a day gig.  It didn’t pay much, $7.50/hr, and not much was expected of me—40 or so hours a week putting tags on orange merchandise for the University of Texas COOP, in a cold building on the corner of Real&Alexander.  I could’ve played it right so many ways back then but I didn’t play it at all. I was young, 34, new to town and working the warehouses. I didn’t have the luck or what some call confidence to go for the Rockabilly Dream I had come to Texas for.  But I had my first piece of journalism published by the end of my 5th month here so it looked like I was leading in with the writing and I went with it. I started blogging soon after that.

Laid off as a bartender and emboldened by articles appearing in Verbicide magazine, along with the news that I’d be receiving $444 biweekly from the state of Texas in unemployment compensation, I felt the time to be a writer was now, or, then.  The Fall of ’10 saw me suffering one of many crises of faith I’ve suffered throughout a lifelong career in the arts. A crisis of faith can best be described as do or die. If I didn’t make it as a writer, while on unemployment in Texas and during my 35th year, I’d be doomed to factory warehouse or promotions work, bartending or hospice care.  That’s what life offered me then, what my choices were and what it looked like. What a wild, reckless time it was, trying to be a writer.

The image of me standing up bourbon drunk in a black convertible speeding through the barrio with a sexy redheaded nurse at the wheel is a good one, a fine image to hold on to.  But also, there were many black mornings, much anger and frustration, and much banging of the head against the wall. I upped my writing regimen from an hour of writing 1,200 words a day and it was nothing but pain.  Looking back I was learning the hard lesson that whatever you do in the Arts, and more importantly, despite what you think about whatever you’re doing in the Arts, doing something is not doing nothing. It all counts.  If you’re diehard and Irish like me, something’s got to give and if you’re up against the wall, does it really matter what gives? Your head or the wall, Pilgrim—but let me tell you something, there are many ways through a wall and you can make your Art about that and many will join you and celebrate through you, get behind you and push you until you’re through.

This blog is what it looks like on the other side.  I know that with the littlest amount of discipline, I can come up with a 644 word missive and whale-killer of a blog that’ll sink any amount of blues and malaise, anger or sexual frustration I’m dealing with.  I know how to do it because I put so much time in to doing it. My blogging medicine is strong. When I say the littlest amount of discipline, I mean that what you’ve read so far took me 20 minutes. Most blogs do.  It’s the excruciating tweaking and editing that takes up the nut of time needed to get these up and posted for you good reader, but 20 minutes to wrap it and dull the jagged edges of sobriety and Kelvin depths of loneliness.  What a blessing. What a goddamned miracle. You know how I can do all this in 20 minutes? Because I’ve spent days doing it. Yep. 1,200 words used to take me 8 hours, a 6-pack of Black Lager and a late night drive through the barrio.  Now I do 600, for your benefit, and at the speed of the Age of Information we are living in, and I do it in 20 minutes. Is it good? I’m happy with it, and extremely proud at times, but ultimately I am comfortable in the knowledge that if you want to write good you need to write bad.  At the helm, in the War Room, at your desk or easel, even on the road at the MAMU—there is no wasted time creating Art. This, right here, is the best 20 minutes I’ve spent in the last 3 weeks. Now if I could only find something to do with the other 1,420 minutes of the day.

See you next Thursday motherfucker.

Vote with a bullet.
Trainer, Going For The Throat
Austin, TX-Nationwide