I should go ahead and get this knocked out, I suppose. Less enthusiasm and more obligation, but I’m the one who made this bed.
I’m not going to get too deep. I’m really not in a good mood. The Black Cloud hangs over and seems to have been building up all week. I let the Sleep have me today, mainly because I simply did not want to deal with the rest of the world. I don’t know if I would’ve even stirred had today not been a gym day. It’s one of those days when I can’t make myself believe that it’s actually worth the trouble.
Especially this. I’m getting readers here and at the Blogger site and at least a bit of response, and I’m not going to complain about that. But I’m having more and more difficulty convincing myself that it’s worth it to knock out 500 words a day for… whatever the hell this is. Is it a waste of time? Is the mere action of writing to keep in practice really worth it?
One of the reasons I quit writing – as opposed to merely quitting the journalism field – was that I felt like I had nothing unique or worthwhile to offer he overall white noise that is today’s media pallet. Since I first got the idea some 30 years ago, we have suffered a deluge of mediocre straight white dudes pretending they’re either John Updike, Dave Barry or Hunter Thompson. Or, worse yet, some sort of unholy conglomeration of all three. If I wasn’t adding something new & interesting – or at least different – to the mix, why bother?
That’s the question I’m asking myself now. Why bother? After, what, four months of squeezing out at least 500 words of complete gibberish while occasionally acting like a journalist, what have I accomplished? Are my chops back, at least? Did I have anything worthwhile to say in the first place?
I’ve said it before, but I envy people who have a solid life goal in mind, even if they never achieve it. Even if it’s “just” having a spouse and making a family. Honestly, the only reason I ever started writing in the first place is because I discovered Lewis Grizzard, and having a lifelong love of Southern humor, I figured that’d be a fun gig. The only reason I tried to make a career out of it was because it’s the only thing I’d ever done that people told me I was good at. And beyond cooking, it’s still the only thing I’ve ever been good at.
I have no great love for newspapers or the practice of journalism. I still approach the news with what I learned from doing the job, especially in today’s over-saturated media world, but I can’t say I actually care. Publications come and go, their level of quality rises and falls, and I honestly don’t give two liquid shits.
But what else am I supposed to do with myself? I am absolutely incompetent at every job I’ve ever had apart from one, and I will never go back into another kitchen. Nor do I wish to get a job at another newspaper regardless of its size. It doesn’t really matter if I ever make a living doing something again. Unless something drastic happens, I can die in relative peace and comfort on this very hill and no one will be bothered in the least.
Used to say that it was my need to live alone and, thus, make rent and keep the dog fed, that I couldn’t get any serious writing done, whether serious or fiction. Now, I have all the time in the world – seriously, the days blur together because they’re so empty – and still nothing comes. The only time I felt at all inspired in the last decade was when I was on my Big Trip. That can’t be done all the time; that’s one of the things that’d shake loose my comfort and complacently.
Maybe that’s something to consider. I do have a lot of admiration for people who’ve taken advantage of the apparently piss-easy to digitally publish whatever gibberish you could lash together. They may pump out a never-ending stream of tedious crap – and I’ve read enough to figure Sturgeon’s Law is in full effect – but they do it. They have ideas. They have the dedication. They tell their stories. What am I doing?
Ah, me. I’m just down. There’s no joy in my heart and the big, wide world feels me with little but fear & loathing. Maybe tomorrow will be brighter. I’m not doing the News tonight because things are still stupid. It exhausts me and maybe we’ll look into it before the weekend’s out. I’ll probably burn up the last of Mendocino before the weekend’s out, so we shouldn’t dwell.