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On Being a Contented Writer

This post serves as proof of life as I continue to exist as an imperfect hermit. I am a contented writer at the moment, in spite of and perhaps because of the flaws in my process and the mildly annoying interruptions that throw my plans off course. If I may, I’d like to provide you with a quick update on what’s going on, before I disappear again.

‘Recluse’ is a code word generated by journalists… meaning, ‘doesn’t like to talk to reporters.’

Thomas Pynchon

If you replaced ‘journalism’ with ‘social media’ in the above quote, I think this applies to anyone that eschews the ranks of Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Am I truly a hermit, or do people perceive me to be antisocial because I fail to waste many hours per day agreeing with and repeating the thoughts expressed by the zeitgeist? I don’t like to talk to ill-informed strangers.

(An aside on that note, I will pinch the fat at the back of your arm if you come at me with lazy opinions on Pynchon. I don’t care how much you despise The Crying of Lot 49 any more than you care that it’s one of my favorite books.)

Illness

I continue to be sick, struck down hard by allergies. Hence a lack of blogging, as all of my energies go toward work and maintaining the household. Katie is sick as well. Both of us are suffering from mild smoke inhalation, the result of university students with poor decision-making skills. Fortunately said fire was outside of the building, not inside. I’ll simply state that drunken children shouldn’t play with matches and move on.

Business

I’ve had to change course with the business, because that’s what successful businesses do. In short, the zine was doing well for the first few issues, then Kickstarter launched a zine-centric event, and sales of the zine fell off. Correlation is not causation, but people have told me that they’ve haven’t purchased the most recent issues because they’re snapping up one-and-done offerings from the crowdfunding platform.

With around 150 launching competing projects, all tapping into the fear of missing out, and people having to make financial decisions around which and how many of those projects to back, there’s no urgency to buy issues that they know they can catch up on next week, next month, or next year. If they don’t back the Kickstarter thing now, they don’t get the Kickstarter thing ever, whereas my thing will be reliably there in the future.

 Contented Writer

If the voice of this post sounds off, it’s because I have been consuming Gothic fiction like bon-bons, and am presently gearing up to do some work on the novel. I am in a peculiar head space. There’s also the matter of the headache, which isn’t helping the, um, whaddaya call it, executive dysfunction.

Writing a contemporary work using the tropes of Gothic fiction — oppressive authority figures, crumbling architecture, a protagonist without means struggling to get by — is as much a coping mechanism as it is a form or literary expression. How does one make art at the end of the world? One makes art about the end of the world, in an attempt to get one’s head around it all.

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