The following day, I found myself feeling decidedly less chipper. This tends to happen when I have a whole day to anticipate the 'joys' of a night shift at work, but on Monday my mood was compounded by the ongoing situation with the family dog, whose medical condition has me (and be warned: I'm about to use some English understatement here) somewhat concerned. This is where I am today - worried and preoccupied - but such is life: sometimes there are good times, sometimes less so. Plus, (I mention this just for a little balance, lest I be accused of being a thoroughly miserable bastard) there are lots of in-between times, when life is neither good nor bad, and we carry on with the regular stuff almost without noticing the passage of time. At present, the scales are unbalanced a little in favour of unhappy.
For me, this condition is not even a little bit conducive for creative writing. It's difficult to explain exactly what happens when I sit down and try to write, but I can best characterize it as the mental equivalent of trying to push a blunt knife through a block of rubbery processed cheese. If you are having trouble understanding this, I strongly suggest that you purchase a block of rubbery, processed cheese and commence the experiment; I can help you no further.
The best option for me in such circumstances is to step away from the keyboard. Otherwise I'll become frustrated, and that path leads to the dark side, Darth Vader, and all kinds of trouble with energy beam weapons and electricity shooting out of fingertips (which isn't at all good for the computer). I have learned to accept the state of writer's limbo (while not exactly warmly embracing it) as part of the writing process - something to be endured, experienced and passed through.
This, however, flies in the face (I think we're back at the wet towel again) of most of the irritating 'advice' with which I continue to be bombarded via the internetwebthing. What has become increasingly apparent on one particular Facebook page, however, is that I have missed the point of that 'community'. Ostensibly established for the support of emergent and embryonic writers, it seems instead to have become something of a parade of arrogance coupled with a love-in. The arrogance of the online writing community ios something that I have touched on before, but the 'luvvy-duvvy dahling' tone of an increasing number of posts has me dry retching.
The thing to do, apparently, is to announce (as if we've all been sitting around waiting for such news) something like "Hey! My book has finally been released on Kindle! It's a scifi/fantasy/thriller/fantasy/scifi story about...and I'm so incredibly excited!" and so on. Next, three or four of the page regulars (for some reason almost without exception, female) will leap into breathless, jumping-up-and-down congratulations of the kind normally reserved for relatives announcing the production of an infant child. It's not that I particularly mind authors being encouraged, but I find myself wondering if some people ever grow out of their schoolyard friendship behaviour ("...please love me, I'm so nice!").
It all seems so sickeningly shallow, and as such it becomes little more than noise without meaning. This sentiment, I realize, places me roundly in the category of 'miserable bastard' - well, so be it. I'd rather reserve my encouragement for something I have some knowledge of, or for somebody I am at least slightly acquainted with, instead of spraying it around like a fire hose in what seems to be a meaningless, arbitrary fashion. It is for that reason that I've not made any announcements on that page...I don't think I could take it. I think I need a much stronger bullshit filter to get me through the next forty years...