I’m a great deal of things, but somehow remembering to update my site and talk about myself becomes a distant, far off concept that I lose a grasp on when I’m, myself, sort of aimless. Because that’s where I’m at right now: completely aimless as a creative mind and trying to figure out my next move.
That doesn’t mean that I’ve not been writing, because I have been writing. Not as much as I’d want to, but at the same time, life can get in the way sometimes. Not even just life, but my own mind can be my own worst enemy. I’ve written a few sci-fi short stories and have been chipping away at another project, but I’m still not entirely sure what I should be doing.
Redundancy might be my motif on this blog, because there are countless posts on here about how I’ve been grappling with the idea of commercial writing and just writing for myself. For most people it seems like a simple concept: you want to do something, just go ahead and do it, there’s nothing to lose. For a writer there’s something almost comforting about the constant stream of rejections.
They suck, that much is for sure. For someone like me you end up in a strange in between world where the groundwork has been done through workshops, school and writing a lot of stuff that was bound for a heap, never to be read by more than a few people. At times I mull over the idea of going back to school for a master’s degree, or to try writer’s groups and whatever else, but it doesn’t click for me. Not that I’m averse to continue to learn and grow or anything, it just feels like most of the work at this point is just to write. So, yeah, those rejections suck and are incredibly discouraging, but they aren’t without their silver lining.
My friend James sent me this Ira Glass video about “the gap” what feels like a million times (in hindsight, it was probably just twice), to the point of, well, redundancy. That’s my theme for tonight. I’ve been mulling over the idea of making music again to have another outlet for the time being. In part because music always feels like a safe place for me. I’m comfortable with music. I’m comfortable both playing it and writing it, as well as I’m okay with my skill level.
While I’m still not sure that I’ll delve back into music or not, it got me to thinking about what my influences were in music, what my taste was. It was an eclectic mix of things, because, that tends to be what I gravitate towards. I was always prone to enjoy the Axl-heavy Guns N’ Roses stuff, like Use Your Illusion II’s second half, Chinese Democracy and whatever else, just like I was a big fan of Roger Waters, Neil Young, Prince, Bowie and a few others. A lot of those things don’t neatly fit together, when it dawned on me that my taste in books is perhaps a lot like that as well, which is why writing sort of straight-forward stuff was as frustrating to me as writing and playing straight-forward metal music was.
I’m not really a metal guy, although I was as a kid. When it comes to music, I’m a lot more mellow now than I was before, which isn’t a surprise, but I still gravitate towards darker music at times. When it comes to literature it’s not that different. I grew up an obsessive Isaac Asimov fan, which makes one of the reviews I read for Terminus Cycle a while ago ring true when someone said it reminded them of early Asimov. We’re talking everything, right down to the books published after his death that branched off from the Robots series and were kind of sort of canonical. Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Haruki Murakami, NK Jemisin, Dan Simmons, Donna Tartt and Thomas Pynchon are probably, at least for right now in this turbulent mind, my favorite authors. Maybe Frank Herbert. Maybe, because I loved Dune and my love for the series dropped off with each additional book.
That list meanders between genres, skill and ideas, but that right there is my core. Getting over that fear of actually writing what I want to write is perhaps my biggest struggle right now, as is finding the consistent time to work on a project without losing focus, then trying to go back to it only to find that my enthusiasm as disintegrated into dust.
Just don’t ask me to write about Westworld. My god, I hate Westworld.