Thursday, January 12, 2012


Even if you've done it many times before, writing something that is 80,000 words or longer is a daunting task. Nothing grants us stamina to that end like having a good group of people in proximity that work at something as hard as you do. Returning to my writing schedule has been really hard because of all the post-holiday distractions, but my friends and family have helped by shouldering some of the burden.

I'm really bad at letting people know when they've done something that helped me. There are the people in my life that politely can't understand why I haven't put my work on the market yet. They help me realize that what I do isn't easy, or easy to understand. Then there are all the people who get it, affirming that the time it takes to write a half dozen really good books isn't a task completed in less than two years. Thanks guys.

Oh, that stack of video games and books people gave me for Christmas I've spend the last two weeks ignoring gives me incentive to reach my daily goals relative to my word count and editing. I will eventually use those as rewards for meeting my goals. Thank you!

Meeting someone for coffee puts my time and my relationships into perspective. Actually wanting to see what people are up to on Facebook and Twitter gives me hope that I've got interesting people in my life that fuel my creativity. Otherwise, those sites would be only the sometimes-used self-marketing tool.

My 27 inch display is rocking several projects, two at a time, across multiple desktops. I think my greatest fear is that I'll die before I get a chance to write down everything that is in my head. Part of me doesn't care if anyone even reads it in my lifetime... only that what I thought was given life in the form of words on a page.

Chances are, my fears will be realized. Something will kill me before my fingers take the last keystroke. I'm hoping for old age and an overactive imagination that couldn't be expressed in the span of one lifetime. Such supreme and foolish vanity.

What gives me a sense of myself is that none of what I'm doing will probably amount to much. I'll write my 20 novels, my wife will get around to helping me edit them, I'll self-publish on Amazon and make enough to cover groceries. I'm too much of a misanthrope for college, a regular job, or even dealing drugs to get by.

People will judge me by the car I drive and the perception of what they think my bank account looks like. Should I (foolishly) decide to send my work into a traditional publisher, I will be rejected, and worse, ignored. I will always struggle with depression, and anger, and a hatred of things I cannot understand. I will never be a "success" by the measure contrived by most people.

I am at peace with that.

Writing on this blog has become painful though, as it doesn't seem to serve any real purpose except to give people insight into what I do. I doubt very much the people that understand why I chose this road would find anything of interest here. They already know what the score is.

Some things simply are.

Why would a guy who can't stand to read 99% of what is considered modern fiction want to write it?

Just, because.

Not everything we are called to do is simply in the service of our passions. There's the Gods we believe to exist, the notions instilled within us by our parents, and the culture of our communities to consider. Our own Agency notwithstanding, it appears to be completely random, until you begin to scratch the surface just a little bit more.

From one of the books I'm writing:

"Doing the right thing isn't about garnering a reward. Making right where all else has gone terribly wrong is thankless, difficult, and runs the risk of being futile."

"That’s no real answer. "

"You would still be out there if I hadn't. You would have continued to suffer in the coils of the Tenebrion and from the pain of your wounds, which thanks to the magic woven by your sisters, haven’t killed you yet."

"Numenarch, I would have done you the same harm when we first met, you owed me nothing."

"Lady Diligence, you are the only one keeping score."

Maybe I read too much Giacomo Leopardi and not enough Marcus Aurelius these days, but I had something of an epiphany after I wrote that. I joke about my "Armor of Apathy" and Royce's "Shield of Someone Else's Problem" (+1) with regard to the obstacles that often appear in my life. Most of what I seem to be angry about are the things where I am the most powerless to act. Where I have the most power to change something, and I do nothing, I seem to be emotionless.

I'm doing something awesome, or terribly wrong. Speaking of terribly wrong, my wife has gone crazy and wants me to cook Spam, gotta go.


  1. I have complete faith in you, my Arthur. I've had a hard time reading most modern fiction myself, because it is so badly written, badly thought out, and just...well...bad. The mainstream seems to really like crap between book covers that substitutes for good literature these days. What will go in the Norton Anthology of Literature from our era? Twilight? I think I'm going to be ill...

    You have such a different writing style and one that I personally love. Just looking at how many texts on my shelves come before the 19th century is clear just how I like my literature written. The one I'm editing feels different than those, but it still has a distinct voice that is clearly not what "authors" today can do, that I have experienced lately anyway. These people are not writers to me, but pattern observers. There are writers, such as yourself, who craft the work, agonize over the content and really put effort into it, not follow some formula anyone can plug things into--when I read a book that I like, I compliment the writer. You, sir, write amazingly thought out works, and spend the time to craft a well written story. And I'm not just saying this because we are married. I've been in plenty of writers' workshops and seen what is put out as modern fiction and it ain't pretty. I'm not saying my stuff is perfect, but good God! Yes, I am a literature/writing snob...

    I still don't know why I had a craving for Spam...I haven't eaten it for years, and I didn't like it. Maybe it's like macaroni and cheese. When you make it, you make it better. ;)

  2. Your blog and writing are important to me. Inspiration, affirmation, identification.