From the Writing for the Sake of Word Count Department:
The good news: I just cleared the 5,000 word mark in my new novel manuscript. The bad news: it’s taken me three fuckin’ months to do so.
I love to write. At least, I used to…or I think I used to. Can’t really tell anymore. Then again, there’s a lot of stuff I used to love to do but don’t because of this godawful pandemic. And here’s the damn aggravating part: all things considered, I got it sweeeeeeet. I’m still employed, and I now work from home. I have a decent living situation, with a tidy little house and a loving wife and a bit of backyard I can enjoy now that the weather’s warm.
Of course, all of these things aren’t about to stop me from whining my ass off. It’s the American way. (Also, I’m fairly certain that nobody reads these posts, so what the fuck*.)
Unfortunately, the American way also now comprises widespread ignorance, hostility, animosity (redundant, yes, I know), idiot conspiracy theories, idiot politicians, idiot citizens and idiot wind.
My problem is that I am a news junkie, and for the last several months – and the last several weeks especially – I can’t read the news without flying into a mouth-foaming rage at the state of the world, and especially the state of the nation. Lately, I’ve been trying to greatly scale back my news consumption, but even articles in The Onion can send me into a screeching rage. Even if I cut out my news consumption entirely, I can feel the nationwide covidiocy, like picking up errant radio signals on my bridgework.
Only through a regular intake of ‘frop** am I able to socially function, and that only on the most rudimentary level. Basically, I get up, I work, I ‘frop, I watch The Simpsons, I go back to bed. Even that routine can be a chore, never mind trying to work on a novel manuscript, a journal or a friggin’ blog post.
Compounding the frustration are reminders of other great works that have been produced when people have been isolated in times of pandemic isolation. The NYTimes’ Decameron Project, is a good example of what’s fueling my sense of authorial inadequacy. The problem is compounded by well-meaning friends and relatives who say things like, “Wow, I bet you’re getting all sorts of writing done, what with this lockdown and all.” It takes all of my willpower not to scream obscenities when I hear this.
So, where am I going with this? Is there even a point? Well, from a thematic viewpoint, there’s none whatsoever. However, I have just cranked out approximately 500 words, so…
*To see if anyone is actually reading these things, I offer this: the first person to contact me with the code word “bleen” will get $20, or a back rub. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Short for habifropzipulops, a Tibetan herb that grows only under very special conditions.-CS