It’s been a spell, hasn’t it?
A lot has happened. Or hasn’t. To you. To me. To everyone.
Every time that I sat down to write something for the blog, I stopped. I didn’t. I had no heart whatsoever to share any feelings. Perhaps because people had so many of their own, and didn’t need another voice to get drowned-out in by the static.
It felt like too much had happened to try and recap the inner and outer tumult. Where would I begin? The social, cultural, political discourses that didn’t seem to notice that there was a pandemic going on? Or they did, seizing the moment and spearing a mass of stir-crazed, fed up cats into action. The surf had enveloped the horizon and had flung boats through the air like pollen.
There’s a strange feeling, a giddied numbness, that sprouts from being overwhelmed: spiritually, entirely. Where there is so much to think and to say, that nothing gets released, that nothing definite is able to take shape. Liquid shadows. Intangible perfumes. Ghosts of prolific contemplation that resign to blending in with the chaotic pattern of a hypnotic wallpaper.
A dragon that chokes on its own flames.
It’s been about a year since the explosion. And since then, we’ve been sifting through the debris, while ashes the size of postage stamps still fall. Initial reports were contradicted by later findings, reversed by analysis, weaponized and promoted as god-spoken gospel or dismissed as hackneyed voodoo, finally being left to telephone-game hearsay and amateur speculation by the sheer number of divergent narratives from expert opinion.
Some of us found ourselves. Some of us found others. Some of us traveled to the bottom of the Earth while others sowed salt on the point of impact.
I didn’t know where to start. With something personal or general. Something dark or serious or light-hearted or inspirational. Once I got back to work, I found myself with fewer and fewer moments for frivolous, non-novel writing. The more that I thought about it, the harder and more hopeless it felt. Questions like who’d want to listen and who cares about your opinion were the nadir of this self-defeating consensus that ultimately created an indifference within me. So I didn’t start. I didn’t care.
You see… I released a book, Becoming Buddha. My finest work to date. I love it. It’s very topical and relevant to how I’ve heard tell of how people have been feeling through this episode. It reviewed well, but moved sluggishly. Moreover, many of those that copped it, still haven’t read it. Big disappointing. Not with anyone, but the situation. I just wanted to share my story. It felt like the perfect moment. I’d invested a lot into it, time and money. I was proud of it. Still am. I thought it could really affect people. I advertised it and hired a publicist. This was my third go around and, possibly, that with the weakest result, all things considered. I didn’t know what else I could do. Blogging certainly didn’t feel like the needle pusher.
I’d thought, if people weren’t going to read a physical copy of something that they’d paid for, or were given, then who would read these off-kiltered ramblings?
Truthfully, from around Christmas leading up to my born day in early February, I’d experienced a terrific bout of self-loathing and melancholy. The source of that moroseness came from the phrase what else can I do?
The answer: something. Everything. Whatever it takes. It doesn’t matter if I like it or think its pointless, corny, beneath me or wack. Because anything could be that one thing. I’m massively grateful for the people that support me. There are cats in my life that push me to do better, that help me and care about me enough to take offence when I immediately disregard their suggestions because I’m grumpy and stubborn and need time to appreciate their guidance.
I read once that the term ‘clutch’ in sports is a fallacy. That the players who come through when it counts don’t just raise their game for big moments, but are rewarded at intervals for their ruthless work ethic. They are the fly that doesn’t quit banging against the window for days on end until it sluices out of the slightest crack or drives the human batty enough to give it a wider berth to escape from.
Life isn’t a game of chance. For most at least. It’s a war of attrition, where standing still is as good as throwing up the white flag and ceding land to the enemy named time.
There’s never enough time, is there?
The more that we have, the more we can waste. The key is to use it wisely.
As much as I love writing, creating stories and breathing life into characters, I need to allocate my time more cautiously to the areas that will allow me to do it more. I’m happy to spend the entire day snapping away on a keyboard or tacking notes to my wall. I don’t do it for anyone but myself, it’s one of the things that brings me the most joy in the world, it makes me feel complete.
Most things that drag me away from writing are necessary for my survival. Work, eating, seeing the odd friend, sleep.
Social media isn’t. Or it wasn’t, until it was finally hammered in my thick skull that it is vital for my ability to write more. To tell more stories. To write as a standalone career. Writing for pleasure is fine, but to be an author, to have an audience to engage and form a relationship with, well that takes people knowing your work and who the hell you are.
We’re at a point where books, authors, the entire literary scene is something that people say they love, but rarely make the time for. It’s sexy, but niche. No matter how I feel about social media, it can allow me to share in a more intimate way and lay the groundwork to interact with readers, new and old.
So here we are, restarting the fire in my belly at double the word count that I set out for the blogs that I swore that I’d write, and film, at least once per week. I forgot how much I ramble. And stray off topic. And enjoy writing for the sake of writing, off the top of my head, whether anyone hears it or not