I appear to be having a bit of trouble today, on the writing front at least. Well, on the writing front in particular. I’ve started about three drafts, attempted to expand on at least three or four more existing drafts, and considered the merits of just tossing something out there and letting the chips fall where they may.
But I decided to run a Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting scheme through the entire month of November, and by the hoary beard of Thor I will get this done.
Powering through a block is something I’m absolutely terrible at, particularly when what I’m trying to produce is a self-contained work. With a bigger piece, I can in theory chip away at some small scene or vignette, and in fact have a significant chunk of a novel written in exactly that fashion, which fits together about as well as you’d expect.
Someday I reckon I’ll build up enough confidence to drag the bits and pieces of my creation over to the Procrustean bed of the editing process and stitch it all together. Probably not in the near future though.
I’d say these periodic blocks were another confidence issue, but that’s not entirely true. I think it’s more of an anxiety issue than anything else; I’m pretty confident in my own opinion, as a general rule, and anyone who’s ever debated with me knows that I can be an absolute bastard when I know I’m right, but often as not I just don’t have the… emotional energy to face the prospect of arguing with someone over something I’ve written.
Every topical piece I produce, every opinion, every bold statement, even every interpretation, is something I tend to obsess over once a piece goes live, an endless stream of “what if I have to justify this”, or “what if I’m called on to defend that”, and while it pretty rarely happens (which is in no small part due to the fact that, well, not that many people read my blog), when it does it tends to leave me pretty exhausted.
That, I’m certain, is about half the reason I have difficulty producing as much as I’d like on this site. It certainly stands a major factor as to why my version of current events posts tend to lag behind by a days to weeks to months, because as often as not I’m unsure exactly how I feel about something and haven’t yet summoned up the energy to argue it out with myself.
So I’ll wait until a thought is done percolating, and by then of course the world has all too often moved on to some new crisis, and the process repeats itself.
Alternately I can nail down my feelings on something pretty rapidly, but know that posting them could draw the kind of fire I just don’t feel like dealing with. Sometimes, reality has a bias towards awful realpolitik, and while I think we’d all be better off realizing that, often as not bringing it up just starts a shouting match with people I have no chance of convincing.
And I hate shouting.
Half the drafts I looked at today were essentially puff pieces, but I still felt that there was enough room for debate that I’d have be ready for the possibility, even if it was something as simple as to whether we should focus our efforts on a permanent Lunar base over a manned mission to Mars.
And I just don’t have the energy today. Not after eating all that turkey.
So you get a puff piece of a different kind, one where nobody can realistically argue with me because all my statements are so purely subjective that anyone making the attempt would simply brand themselves as an idiot. Which is not to say that I’ve not seen people try it before, but the piece I’ve been wanting to write about the nature of mental illness, the incomplete and poorly understood science surrounding it, and the often skewed and uneducated public opinion regarding it will have to wait until I’ve got a bit more energy to yell at people with.
Just in case.