Writer’s Log: 2727

There’s been some reconciliation regarding my time spent writing. My wife, jealous of my relationship with my writer’s mind, has relinquished total control and now admits that if given a few hours on the weekends to write, I’m happier. That is, less of a bitter, curmudgeonly, Nihilistic downer.

It’s a sliding scale. Like grading on a curve. A rounded top where a “B” is what ChatGPT can produce. “If you can’t beat a machine, kids, then you most definitely will fail in school, if not life.” Harsh, but true, no?

Mm, no. Failure, the Stoics would tell us, can only be admitted, never assigned. Screw the way the world sees you. How do YOU think you did? Did you achieve any, some, much of what you attempted? Even 0% is progress. To fail is to learn. And if in learning you determine a better path forward, is that not progress?

The tricky bit is the learning part. Fail that and… Here’s a razor, I’ll wait. (Or join you — if we kill each other in a pact, is that reflective suicide or tandem murder?)

But back to writing. I’ve been scratching out this and that here and elsewhere, slowly racking up the hours. If I didn’t have this ugly habit of working ten hours a day at a job I lament for an industry I loathe I could really get some (writing) work done. Sheesh. All this effort wasted on making money. If I were single and childless, I’d move to Belize, rent a shack, write the sun to bed and then drink myself there. As it is, I only dream–of the apocalypse. Ahem, time’s-a-ticking Four Horsemen.

If you’re following along, 2727 represents the number of tallied hours I’ve spent learning to write well. I started the summer of 2016, during the 90 days I spent writing my first novel, pathetic and noobescent as it turned out. From then on, my prison cell wall-marks have accumulated to represent about a year and a quarter’s worth of day-job worthy writing. (50 weeks x 40 hours = 2000 hours)

I figure by the time I hit 10,000 Gladwell hours, AI will have beaten me to it. Ah well. The Stoic in me says it is the journey, not the destination that should be my focus. Yeah? Well, all the stoics are dead. In the end, does it matter which I choose: the trip or the target? No, not really. Carry on.

6 thoughts on “Writer’s Log: 2727

  1. 2727… looks like a good number
    It’s interesting you mention that ‘if you were single and childless…’ I’ve been wondering about that recently, too. What if I left the corporate world and just focused on writing? I still don’t think I’d become a famous writer as it’s a hard business (and I just don’t want to go through all the struggles of selling my soul). Plus, AI as you mentioned. They’re Instagram influencers now. Writing is something they do in their sleep. (?!?!?!) Living a solitary life just focusing on writing sounds good at first, but I’m not sure how the logistics would work out. The realist/pessimist in me keeps me from overturning everything.


  2. “Failure, the Stoics would tell us, can only be admitted, never assigned.”

    This strikes me as an important insight. It reminds me of a point in grad school when I was thinking about making my Master’s thesis on what causes IT projects to fail. I ultimately did it on something else, but not before reading enough to realize that success or failure is never an objective thing, but a political one, that can only be assessed after the fact. (Although some minimal level of competence by the people on the project is required. It’s just rarely sufficient.)

    When it comes to writing, it’s very hard to assess success or failure. A lot of writers see little to no recognition during their lifetime, only to have their reputations soar after they’re gone. Not that I advocate aiming for that. Success in life is better than success only afterward. It’s just very hard to asses the ultimate effects of our efforts.

    Anyway, glad you’re able to get your writing fix in!

    Liked by 1 person

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