Coming up for air was a mistake. I should have stayed submerged, chipping away at my rock of fiction, my own way, my own tools. But the shimmering mirror above drew me to break the surface and gaze about. Toxic reasoning, broken ideologies, plain wrong thinking found me struggling in the froth at the top. Best to sink back down and return to rooting among the muck and sludge that is my domain.
But isn’t it the affectation of all creators to seek affirmation of their work?
Are there truly artists in the world who work solely for the work? The painters and sculptors and potters who toil away in their hidy-holes, furiously producing piece after piece? Producing with nary a thought as to their creation’s effectiveness, impact, or value?
Perhaps those types of art differ from lexical art like writing & songs. Why communicate through words (the foundation of a society) if those words might never be read or heard by another human? Music? I think music might be somewhere in between.
All artists no doubt suffer the burden of mediocrity in concert with self-doubt. Word artists seem unique, however, in their suffering. Failing to communicate through a communication medium must be the ultimate of failure.
If y’all are about sick of this daily barrage of content from me, worry not, September will come to an end soon and so too this flurry of activity.
I have not been idle.
This last month I’ve booked thirty plus hours writing short stories, published over on my writing blog. Among them, additional apocalyptic scenarios and other stories meant for online competition, and still other random pieces. No, not idle.
But not decidedly dedicated toward any of my WIPs, either. As if I’m circling them, sword drawn, dagger ready, crouched and eager for their counterattack. “Just try it, you bunch.” “Ha!” they challenge, “You got this all wrong, buddy. It ain’t us that be needin’ the balls to do the attackin’.”
All too true. Those nodules have shrunk and pulled up inside like a prepubescent servant boy facing his first pour at the royal table.
“I’m still honing my skill. You wait ’till my blades are sharp… You just wait.”
When I went to calculate the number of hours for this post: 2287, I chanced a peek back to last year at this time, which stood at about 2100. So, one year and ~180 hours. Not too good. The year prior? The total stood at approximately 1800, calculated to 300 hours spent. Beyond this the numbers get fuzzy, but I’m guessin’ the count stood at 1000—the year before—which means that that year (August ’17 to August ’18) I booked 800 hours.
- Year #4: 180 hrs
- Year #3: 300 hrs
- Year #2: 800 hrs
- Year #1: 1000 hrs (I started this endeavor the summer of 2016.)
Not a good trend.
Now, in my defense, my work-a-day job had been vastly different back in the beginning. In the last two years, however, fewer daytime hours could be “donated” toward my writing process.
Additionally, I dare say that the quality of output has accelerated inversely, counter intuitively, to the number of hours applied. Fewer, yet closely attentive words? But, who is a writer to (accurately) judge their own work?
Regardless, my WIPs taunt me no end. They beg my attention. They deserve better.
Back to work.