This is another whiny post. I bet whoever’s reading this is either getting tired of me being downtrodden and struggling or eating it up. The latter at least would explain why you are still here. Anyway, enough bashing myself for feeling the need to write this post. Basically ever since graduation I’ve been in a funk. Maybe it’s because I told myself that 40,000 words in a month just isn’t enough, which caused the whole thing to turn into a 40,000 words in two months as I psyched myself.
I’ve been told a few prevailing things by people over the years in regards to writing. They are all fairly understandable, make a certain amount of sense, and at times they all drive me insane with rage or annoyance or both.
The first one is the three words I hate the most for some reason: “Never stop writing.” Why do I hate this? I hate it because it simply implies that I’m morally weak (which perhaps I am, I suppose), and therefore need the encouragement of people who do not respect the sort of writing I do, as those are the people who feel the need to say this to me. Of course, the worst one was being addressed by name and told this by a speaker during my high school graduation, but that’s probably just because I hated high school altogether (stopping digression… now).
So this is turning out to be a bitter-sounding post indeed. I’m in a bitter mood, so maybe I should just switch off my internet… but if you’re reading this it means I didn’t.
Second of the things I’ve been told is the ubiquitous piece of advice that amounts to: “You should write something other than science fiction or fantasy.” Now, I know this is well-intended, just as any piece of advice usually is well-intended. The problem is that I may not always know what I like, but I know what I want to do in my gut. My gut has never told me to write fiction set in a so-called ‘realistic’ world. For one thing, realism is a sham. Every character anyone ever read about in fiction is a fake, even those that represent real people. Even realistic fiction has more in common with some kind of telepathic dream-state in which one person’s version of reality is absolutely true than it does with reality.
Those are the two big ones, and I’m afraid I’ve been mulling them over for a while now. They are far less irritating to me than the far less frequent advice I’ve gotten to get a real job and (more or less) to give up this whole thing because I’m not good enough, which I’ve only received once. At least most people seem to want to be encouraging. ‘Seem’ –That’s a funny word. It’s funny, because ‘seems’ are all people can tell for sure about each other–and the only reason they can tell for sure is because the seeming is coming from within the brain of the assumer not the assumed… if that makes sense. But I seem to be wandering further and further from the original point of this post.
My original point was that I have no clue why I am stuck, but I am stuck. Let’s see, possible problems. Lately I think too much about past events down to a minute level, like a character in a James Joyce story. In addition, I get angry at people I haven’t spoken to in weeks or months because of this messed-up phrase making. I’m feeling some of the most intense hatred I’ve felt in a few years now, and I’m not even being harassed by anyone worse than Michelle Obama (via proxy-written email in her case). So I don’t have anything to rail against. But rail I must, it turns out. Being the peculiar kind of autistic that I am, I have always had trouble with disliking people more than is helpful. I would scream at people about how weak they were, and even if I was right in my assessment the rage was and is completely useless. But rage I do.
Another problem I’ve had for my whole life is my issue with waiting. When I’m waiting for something I often fail to accomplish anything. I think that’s what’s happened to me pretty badly this summer. Only, unlike my usual problems with waiting for packages, or rejection letters, or whatever, I feel like I’m waiting for Godot right now (Hint to self: He doesn’t show up).
So where is my drive, where is my ambition? I don’t know. Once upon a time I was told by an acquaintance that he admired how I went out and did what I wanted. I’ve been told by others I am brave. Do I not have any bravery anymore? My motivation couldn’t be worse. My inspiration is here, so I have built a rocket with a fuse leading to the launching mechanism. Am I really just waiting for something to light that fuse and wake me from this angry coma?
Every book I’ve finished felt like this to one extent or another before I started it. But it’s been too long, and this system is not working. I need to be in at least some control of my emotions and my goals and myself, but the pressure always crushes my resolve when I set goals these days. Whatever happened to my joy? Whatever happened to my ambition? My bravery? Sweet crap–look how long this post got just because I let myself write whatever popped into my head. Everything I wrote in this post has pushed me forward to this point, so bear with me a little longer.
I think I may see part of the problem with my fiction writing. I try to be positive in my outlook when I write fiction and it has made my attitude, dare I say it–apologetic. I have not embraced the things I like in fiction, for I appreciate violence in stories, but have shied away to avoid setting a bad example. Quite apart from that, I appreciate active characters but I always end up writing people like I AM, not like how I WANT TO BE.
Well would you look at that. A long post about what a miserable bastard I am. Oh well, I’ll try to be more upbeat next time. No promises though.