This part of High Fidelity makes me uncomfortable about the whole film. It’s Cusack and Jack Black at their best and the list-making trope satisfies my mild OCD better than using 400 standard rectangular LEGO blocks to build one giant rectangular LEGO block would, and the relationship stuff is all pretty spot-on, but this ending, particularly this scene, where Laura calls him a professional critic finally putting something out into the world, unnerves me. Hits too close to home.

There’s a joke that comes up a lot in workshop. Whenever we’re looking at a particularly famous story or author as an example, someone is bound to say, if she’d workshopped this, they would’ve torn her a new one. After being in a workshop of some sort for ten of the past thirteen years, I once in a while second guess myself in giving advice, which I always try to make sure is genuine and productive and works with the author in the direction they want to take their story, but objectivity is tough, man. There’s a lot of talk about Gatsby lately, and I recently learned that Fitzgerald never saw the great success the book turned out to be, and that its sales were pretty much crap until the military purchased 150,000 copies of it in 1945 – 6 times the total copies sold in the twenty years it had been in print – to give to personnel during WWII.

Fitzgerald was already dead, had died thinking the novel was a failure, had even petitioned his publisher to let him change the name of the novel just before publication to the rather stupid Under the Red, White, and Blue.

Point is, you can never know when you’re full of it, despite your best intentions, and the decision to put something out there anyway must be made with an abundance of caution, due to the awareness of this fact.

So, without further ado, and fully aware that this idea may bomb, please allow me to introduce Galley Proof, the website for artists with motivation problems. You pick the date, we hold you to that date by publishing your piece of art (sound, video, image or print) and putting it on our front page for a day. Simple as that.

I’ve had several people tell me this is a good idea, but only two people sign up so far. As for me, I am still pretty certain this idea is worth all the effort it has required of me thus far, but I won’t know for sure unless people start to use it. Your participation is your vote for this to continue. And if you know of any artists that could use a swift kick in the pants, please point them my way.

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