Today, for your enjoyment, a delectable entrée of the rambling variety…
As you can plainly see, my ceiling now has a gigantic hole in it. A hole in the ceiling which is – I am assured – the immediate precursor to a wholly repaired ceiling.
Often people say, “it gets worse before it gets better,” but rarely do they mean it in such a stark and unyielding way.
It has been days now, and my tormented mind continues to conjure ever more terrifying images to keep me awake at night. Surely this is not just a hole, it must be something more sinister…
What manner of hideous darkness might lurk just beyond the spill of light from my vulnerable living room? And how long can I keep my guard up before I weary, allowing the malodorous beasts to seep into our world and begin their long-plotted campaign of torment?!
As usual, I'm either on to something big or I just need more sleep.
You might notice that we have completely revamped the look & feel of both our web sites. Markley Bros. Entertainment and the Markley Bros. Blog are both very nearly ready for prime time, and when they are, we will be trying something that we've never tried before:
An aggressive, ongoing advertising and social networking campaign designed to bring people to our web sites and show off our comedy.
I am pointing this out now because now, for the first time ever, the web sites are starting to look like something made by professionals and not something made by kids. Now, for the first time ever, you can see what we've been trying to accomplish with your own eyes. Not because we put together a mock-up, not because we posted a screenshot, but because it's real, it's running, and it works.
In case you didn't get the memo, this site is the product of over three years of development, over 17,000 lines of custom code, and countless sleepless nights trying to get “one more thing” done before having to get up for work in the morning.
Don't you think it's time for some return to start rolling in?
Now, theologically, (I did promise you a rambling entrée) I would never claim to “deserve” success. I think that all of us (myself included) have done things that even our best efforts cannot compensate for. So no, I don't deserve to have the web site succeed. My brothers and I don't deserve to earn our livings doing the things we love to do.
But even though we don't deserve anything good, God is a good father (bear with me here) and he loves to give good gifts to his children. So if we make funny stuff and people hear about it, like it, stick around, and we start making money from our efforts, I would consider that an incredible gift. And God's incredibleness would shine through it.
Many times before I have said, (to myself and to others) “Success is just around the corner! All we have to do is X, and eventually, when Y, we'll be good to go.”
Well, you know what? Aside from a few minor loose ends, there's nothing else holding us back. Barring another major catastrophe, we will be ready to go by the end of the summer.
But what will success look like? If we do accomplish it, how will we know?
From year to year, my definition of success has changed. I remember an early argument between myself and Icepunk about the definition of success. We had finished TUAoMaI the book and we were talking about moving on to other things.
He was very disillusioned by the fact that the book had not taken off, and frankly I was too. I think we both, in our teenage naiveté, somewhat expected the world to gasp at our collective genius and compulsively pay us a lot of money.
Icepunk's definition of success for any future project remained centered on at least medium-scale fame and fortune. And I, for my part, wanted to define success as making a couple dozen people laugh. My reasoning was that setting our immediate goals too high would only break our spirits.
I was right. For years I and my brothers (since Icepunk headed off in a different direction) trudged along accomplishing one thing at a time. During the early days, we got excited when we completed a short film. Or put a Malex Minute episode up. Or completed a story-arc.
Because our definition of success for years was just making something funny and putting it online, we spent those years trudging along without becoming discouraged. And now, because we spent those years honing our craft, you might say that we've gotten pretty good at it.
So back to the definition of success. What has our definition of success shifted to now? We have succeeded at hundreds of intermediate goals, and now it's time for something different.
It's time for something bigger.