The Gonzo Journals
January 18th, 2023
Wow. Today signifies a landmark in my rollercoaster writing career. I have officially managed to keep and maintain a website for five years without getting pissed off and deleting it! I’ve even managed to post my nonsense exactly one thousand times! I’m sorry you all had to read it…
When I first started cderickmiller.com, I was in a super rough place. I was coming out of a long marriage as well as a failed rebound relationship. I was also speed-dating as a semi-known artist in my small hometown. I’m not quite sure who was using who, but it was a thankless, empty nightmare. How can you be surrounded by a harem but still feel completely alone? I can show you.
I also drank like a fish for three of those five years. My secret artist bachelor pad sat across from two grocery stores and alcohol was too easy to come by. I drank myself to sleep nightly and that trend continued until my health took a dive. My Hunter S. Thompson writer fantasy was coming true one drink at a time. At least I didn’t get into the drug portion.
Somewhere along the way I managed to get the attention of a local newspaper editor and I began working as a freelance journalist. I had my own weekly column, my own monthly magazine articles, and a shiny press pass. I’d never imagined that a woman of her successful status would stoop to blackmail, but it happened. She began swapping my published works for sexual favors. Career rape?
Eventually, I began to feel like an abuse victim. It wasn’t worth living my fantasy as a hometown journalist in exchange for unwanted intimacy. She wasn’t even my type. Finally, I pulled the brakes and gave up on a potential future with the newspaper. It wasn’t worth sacrificing my sanity which was already stretched thin.
Shortly after that, I stumbled in with the Splatterpunk crew and helped Death’s Head Press win an Anthology of the Year award. Unfortunately, that group separated into cliques and I wasn’t awesome enough to hang with the cool kids. My message to new writers? Fuck the biz. Create. I shit you not when I say I managed to get a hit placed on my via the dark web for being a part of that anthology. I thought it was all a poorly crafted rumor until I got a call from the FBI.
Mentally, I was somewhere in the vicinity of rock bottom but wearing the face of a strong adult. This was right about the time I met my wife Sam. She showed me how to live the act and made me a very happy man. My novella Starving Zoe put my name throughout the world and a better future was laid at my feet. Then, the pandemic came.
A worldwide sickness enveloped the planet while the United States of America simultaneously lost its political mind. Battle lines were drawn. Families and friends turned on one another over simple mask mandates and complicated bipartisan beliefs. Millions died and millions more wished they did as well. It was an embarrassing, disgusting time to be alive and it’s far from over on the day I write this. One of my publishers with some fairly radical beliefs attacked my wife and I pulled the plug. Is professionalism truly a dead art? In the end, all you can do is take care of yourself and yours.
Today, I’m happily married to a successful woman who encourages my lunacy, just on a cleaner level. I write full-time and work part-time by choice at a job that makes me feel like a child again. I’m sober, medicated properly for depression & anxiety, and looking forward to the next adventure. I’m embracing my gonzo journalism style again and writing daily to keep the talent pump primed and ready. It’s been a ride, but one I wouldn’t recommend for the squeamish.
Where will it all go tomorrow? No one knows. Zero clues. This is the adventure I began fifteen years ago, and it’s taken me to places I never thought I’d go. At least I didn’t choose finality.
My ultimate goal was to somehow live in New York City, write until my pen dried up, and drink myself into an early grave like a literary legend. Art and depression go hand in hand, folks. Express yourself for relief and surround yourself with similar sufferers to assist with the burden. Love and allow yourself to be loved.
You do you.
Fuck the biz.
Pour everything into something rather than something into everything.