Actually, there’s no committee. It’s just me, at a desk, with about a thousand tabs open plus my phone notifications popping up, plus several piles of books around me and twelve different disorganized to-do lists, trying to make sense of my life and profession and everything in the universe.
It’s been slowly coming, but I feel like we are edging over a line that someone randomly drew in the ground. And by “we”, I mean me. Maybe the folks around me. Life. The universe. Is this what getting old is like? This feeling that the disasters are piling up faster and furiouser? (Yeah, I know it’s not a word, but I like it.) Looking around and thinking, holy hell, when did the world get so bad? Maybe it’s the many disasters that have been in the news, the earthquakes in Turkey, the weird-ass weather that’s blanketing pretty much everywhere, the relentless stripping away of body autonomy for women and LGBTQ+ members and the grandiloquent shrug that that loss is met with, the environmental disaster in Ohio from the train derailment that won’t be cleaned up for a long time, the fact that the folks working on technology seem to want to point AI-type assistance NOT where it could help people out, as in, I don’t know, assisting in the identification of incoming problems that lead to environmental disasters, but instead, to trying to mimic the very things that make human beings creative and special–the work we put into the arts, music, writing, all those things, some of which we pursue as a living, some of which we find fulfilment in as a hobby. And as someone who makes a living publishing, editing, podcasting, teaching those things…am I out of a job? (I don’t think I will be, but it’s making me think long and deep about parts of this life–the publishing and editing–and how I will adapt.)
Woof. That was a long paragraph. What a Debbie Downer. Excuse me while I go take a nap or drink some tea or something.
Anyway, I am thinking these thoughts not because I’m depressed or whatever. But because I guess this IS part of being human–taking a moment to work through, inside my mind, what all of these things mean. What can I do? What can WE do? What should I be doing?
There are few things I’m rolling around in my head right now, and they mostly have to do with where I am and what I want to do and where I want to go. I’m sitting down this week (well, not necessarily sitting down so much as thinking on the go and carrying a sheaf of index cards to write notes down on for easy organization when the time is right) and taking inventory of all the things that I do. The writing–what am I writing? What forms? What’s the status? What’s the priority? The publishing–what am I reading for? What am I editing? What am I launching? What am I doing post-launch marketing maintenance on and how? All those sorts of things.
I have some ideas about how I want to shape my work in the future. I have some thoughts and ideas about where I want to put my effort and how I want to give the people who enjoy my stuff more of that stuff–and maybe give them more than just a book, but also blog so y’all can see where I’m at, or send a more regular newsletter so if you have thoughts, you’ll have my email address and can send me what you thought, or your questions, or even, hey, your: “DAMN YOU WRITER PERSON YOU KILLED MY FAVE CHARACTER,” which, as a reader, I totally get.
I’m about three years into trying to make a serious go of a creative career. That’s, of course, the same amount of time that a certain plague has been dogging our steps. I’m learning lessons now I might have learned earlier, had the apocalypse not occurred. But, I’m also learning deep lessons that I wouldn’t have learned if the apocalypse had held off. Many of those lessons are telling me to focus on what I write, what I say, what I publish, and make more time in my life to be engaged–and then to retreat to think some more–and then recharge and return to engage again. I am not, realistically, going to find a solution to all of the things that pop up in the news headlines each day, but I can do something. I just need some time and thought and space to process, to read what others think, and figure it out.
Sorry for the super downer post today… I’ve got a lot of random thoughts going on and needed someplace to stick them. I’ve also, once again, given up coffee for Lent, so it’s possible these are the fruits of an undercaffeinated mind. But, it’s time for lunch, so let me see if this is just a bout of hangry-ness that I’ve got going on. Peace!
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I feel we’re undeniably and irrevocably in the ‘Find Out’ stage of ‘Fuck Around and Find Out’.
I am absolutely terrified of dying, but… I’m glad I will be missing the latter parts of this reckoning.
I don’t know what to advise you to teach your children to make their way easier during this slow-motion ecological and political avalanche, but I pray you teach them well.
and now Debbie Downer Reader will hush up an’ think of rainbows and puppies.
The kids are all right, you know what I mean? If there is any bright spot, it’s that the next generation is punk AF and doesn’t give a shit about what we think. I hope they rock on, and going to try to do everything I can to help out.