Your cart is empty. Go to Shop


In the Unlikely Event of My Rabid Success

You have an obligation, and it is simply this:

Let your art be art. Don’t let your art be an excuse.

Don’t use it to justify your loneliness. Don’t use it to hide from your responsibilities. Don’t make it more important than people or survival. Don’t let its mythology destroy what makes it magic.

There are people who make their art their life. Some are very happy. You won’t be one of them. You tried. It didn’t work.

You’ve done your best work when your life was full of other things. If you’d made writing fiction your whole life, you never would have tried improv or sketch comedy or live storytelling, and denied yourself a vibrance in life that then infused your work.

You make your best work when the world tells you there isn’t enough time. You sneak it. You earn it. You make miracles out of minutes. You always did your best against the grain.

Do not fall for the siren cries of other promoting artists, the ones who pine for a life of just their muse. The lack of day job. The total ego of art. What a wonderland it must be! You’ve had the low-rent version of this conjob Shangri-La. It became a monster made of prisons, assumptions, and falsehood. It ate you, puked out your skin, and wore it as a mask.

Be a person who makes art. A person loves to make art. Who loves art. But if you sink your identity into an activity, your identity will crush you when your art does not change the world, make you rich, validate your loneliness.

Art is awesome. It can keep you sane, happy, and be a gift that keeps giving. But when it becomes an excuse, when it infects your identity, when you can’t be a good person because of your art, you have become a complete fucking shithook.

© Jason S. Ridler

Meet the Author

Jason S. Ridler

Jason S. Ridler

Jason S. Ridler is a writer, historian, and actor. He is the author of The Brimstone Files, and his latest historical work Mavericks of War was called a “visceral read that is also an important piece of scholarship” by Pulitzer-Prize winner Richard Rhodes. He is a Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and teaches creative writing at Google, Youtube, and for private clients.

Become a Patron! Check our our NEW Patron rewards!


Receives weekly links to new stories, exclusive behind-the-scenes content and interviews with the authors, and our undying love.


Receives a free monthly download of our current issue, access to Ask Me Anything chats with the FFO staff, submission statistics, plus benefits from lower levels


Gain access to our monthly Mini-Critique sessions, the FFO Editorial Team slushpile wishlist , plus benefits from lower levels


A chance to have your work discussed by the FFO editorial team, receive 365 Writing Prompts and our latest anthology, plus benefits from lower levels


Receive a monthly mini-critique from the FFO editorial team and request custom writing videos, plus benefits from lower levels


Receive one flash fiction critique per month, mini-critique sessions, an opportunity to “sponsor-a-story,” plus all the benefits of lower levels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online is a free online magazine that pays professional rates. So how do we make that happen? It’s due to the generosity of readers like you.

Here are some ways you can help:

Become a Patron.

Sign up to become a monthly donor and gain access to exclusive Patron rewards like manuscript critiques, insider submission statistics, the Editors’ Wishlist, free downloads of our current issue, and Ask Me Anything chats with the FFO staff. Read more…

Subscribe to FFO.

Never miss an issue! E-reader formats delivered to your inbox. Available from

Buy our issues & anthologies.

Each of our issues and anthologies are available in convenient e-reader formats (epub/mobi/pdf). Available from the Flash Fiction Online Store and WeightlessBooks.


Consider a one-time gift that fits your budget.

Advertise with us.

Have a product, service, or website our readers might enjoy? Ad space available on the website and in our e-reader issues. Sponsored posts opportunities are also available. Learn more…

Spread the word.

Love one of our stories or articles? Share it with a friend!

%d bloggers like this: