Episodically Extraneous

July 10, 2011

By way of explanation…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Schafe @ 02:23

This blog doesn’t function as per its initial or revised intent. Sorry about that. However it serves for now as an oppotunity, before google plus incorporates blogger and I shift to managing my online profile via the big G and the big G alone (nestling up to giant cyber bosoms seems to be the most comforting way to exist online) for me to do what seems to be now a big cathartic vent type thing (there is underlying catharsis in most of my blogs I suppose, but I’m far too stupid to learn lessons).

It’s 2am for me right now, and whilst I’ve shifted into a nocturnal creature due to being off work I sort of would prefer to be asleep and getting a stable day/night relationship reestablished than doing this. Nothing goods from writing emotive blogs, emails, letters late at night. There is a fallacy that I have often prescribed to in which the written word is somehow the cleaner, more clinical and considered method of communication. There is an immediacy concerning verbal conversation, there is a subtle nuance to tone of voice and body language which I’m not good with so I like to write.  That is rendered bollocks by the fact that when the urge to say something somewhat cathartic comes about all I do with writing is confuse and convolute matters. I can’t utterly refute the notion that this might not be the fact that forms of communication have failings but rather the failings lie with me and how I interact with everyone in the world. In fact an exploration of that very notion is at the heart of the aim of this blog as I considered starting it.

I was going to write about writing. You may have noticed I say I’d like to write and get published as per the pipe dream I mention as a way to validate the current state of my existence and to use to ward off the mind crushing prospects of my current reality.  I’ve been writing quite a bit with a view to sending to a publishing house these past while. It isn’t going so great, ideas don’t stick, my writing sucks and I mismanage timings and what not (a long time prioritising a novel idea that I subsequently rejected has robbed time I would’ve devoted to other ideas). Writing with an eye to publication is odd, there is a set of considerations about style, tone and content which need to be met with regards the prospect of a sale. I was going to write this blog about writing because I can’t get the tone right for the idea I’m on now. I like the idea allot, I desperately want it to work and pull it off, the plot whilst not revolutionary is solid and the characters are spot on but I want there to be a flavour to it which I’m not feeling in what I’m writing. I have lines of dialogue, turns of phrase in the narration that hit the right notes but a cohesive tune doesn’t exist just yet.  So I was going to talk about that and what not but I got to thinking, which, whilst not unheard of, is always without fail dangerous for me to do.

When I was writing the Space Soap Opera “Bride of Kharn” earlier this year, after somehow lucking out and getting publisher interest from a submission I made (which alas went no further than a polite (yet unhelpfully vague) rejection), I realised that rather than being an aspiring writer, I was actually more akin to a pragmatic fantasist. (If we’re being honest (read hurtful) deluded, deluded person probably fits better than “pragmatic fantasist” but I’m trying to manage my portrayal to come out of this with face.)

What do I mean by this distinction? Well for one thing whilst I do read about writing and storytelling, most of that has happened after the resolve that I could maybe make a hash of selling  and a lot of that happened after Bride of Kharn was sent off to the publisher and I was running high on the self-delusion it wasn’t terrible (if you are one with critical faculties this self-delusion the ability to psyche yourself up and belief in your creation is necessary as otherwise you will submit nothing to anyone at all).  I am no student of the written word (outside of formal academia), what I am is someone who reads a fair amount of books and comics, watches far too much TV and probably spends an unhealthy amount of his alone time thinking and living scenes and stories in his head (some of which I write down somewhere just as a way to express them). If this was the matrix I’d not take any pill I’m happy to depart from reality of my own vocation without chemical assistance.  Now I live with a creative process, an urge to have stories and characters and things in my head that are not real but I find enjoyable and for whatever strand of reasoning you wish to pin on me (depending on cynicism levels I can talk myself out of writing by  undermining the reasons I have for doing it)  I have done things with an eye to bending such a thing towards achieving the goal of publication. It’d be really trite and crap to say “it is my gift it is my curse” and suggest that I have a spidermanesque responsibility to turn my imagination into some sort of content for a wider audience to (hopefully) enjoy, but that is pretty much the best way to put it.

Which leads me to an interesting crux in this whole crazy thing. If writing (or indeed all art) is about the creator communicating an idea or emotion through their work to elicit a response in the audience and I mostly write/imagine to serve my own needs and desires surely there is a gap whereupon all my endeavours are doomed to fall through?

I don’t have an answer, I think “I’m communicating this to people” is always on my mind when I write with regards stuff I’m sharing. (Well not so much this rambling babbling nonsense but no one apart from you reads this blog anyway and to be honest I’d rather you stopped so I wouldn’t feel guilty about not updating.) Which is often why ideas get dismissed or I get frustrated and annoyed at my lack of abilities to achieve the objectives.  I won’t say I have a talent with regards the writing, when I was fresh out of school maybe, teachers and the like said I had but talent suggests an inherent skill which I clearly am lacking in. I like making distinctions, mind numbingly petty distinctions, real pathetic “why are you being such an arse making such an arbitrary distinction” sort of shit. I’d say I have a set up in my mind that is well suited to the task of writing. I read allot, I write a bit and I think constantly and imagine all sorts. It is something I can do, but I need to work at it to do it well which is fair enough and the same boat as every other published author and hopeful scribbler the world over, I am nothing if not ique (as opposed to un-ique).

What worries me is that there is this gap. When I started this blog post I was alert to the fact that there was a very real possibility I could go into some sort of really confessional sort of place but I’ve been writing for an hour now and achieve over 1200 words so the pressure on my mind to make things up and vent them at the internet is released somewhat. This is great because I don’t want to be that guy. You know the guy who has an audience for his works and thus does a bit to cultivate a web presence and then decides to get married and seems to think this audience will put up with his thoughts and emotions about that. I love that guy, I’m part of his audience, he can post a link that leaves your computer stuck on goatse forever and his audience will think it rocks. It is all good despite the snide tone I took, I can’t be that guy if I wanted to, I have too much hair and not enough badassery.

However that aside aside,  maybe there is something fundamentally wrong with me that will undermine all these efforts. I relate to people as an outsider primarily. I have socialised online over in reality since I was 14 years old and that is now a decade of keeping people at bay in reality. I don’t talk, I don’t emote to people. What I do do is cultivate the experience where I can reckon that cathartic writing of emotions in say an email may not help matters but other than that nothing really. I’ve found myself in the catch 22, where I don’t know what is best, I want to be there personally to help and comfort and offer intimacy and immediacy to someone who is upset but if I am there I’d want to be apart and communicating via a screen where I can consider what to say and bide for time and know I will be saying something likely better than I would make up instantly. That said that catch 22 only exists because I was emotionally invested in achieving a “cheer the person up and comfort them” result, where upon you could say I’d avoid such tripfalls if I stopped becoming emotionally invested in other people.

There is likely a running theme if  you know me and/or read this blog that I am a mess. I accept that I am under no compulsion to fix that. I am reasonably content brooding in the dark and distracting myself with my own creations and I don’t think anyone wins if I was to draw from specific examples of my existence to explain how fucked up I am.  When I started considering this blog and it took me to this point I got upset and obsessed about those events and my shortcomings and what not, I then distracted myself by writing this damned tirade of meaningless nonsense. That is certainly a degree of win. I’d summarise what I was trying to establish and communicate but I’m not sure what that is. In fact without a painful exploration of why I am why I am I don’t know how much of a way of explanation this is.  Still I am aware of a disconnect, I wonder if it is fatal, I’ll publish this anyway because I know the audience for this is typically my friends (or acquaintances with which I am friendly as a more accurate distinction?) and there is surely a decent argument with regards the disconnect with the world that I probably not as friendly and open with them as friends possibly should be. I don’t know, I only really am comfortable talking about stuff that never matters and most of you as my friends I met online where the use of the written word and the mediums on which our friendships take place (often forums) mean I can try to cultivate a wittier, more worthy of friendship persona than I likely have in reality or am expressing here. Perhaps this will lead for me to be terribly alone and abandoned by everyone?

Part of me kind of hopes it does to be honest. If I’m going to have friends longterm I probably should do better than you, you are already getting a bit annoying.



  1. You were going to write about writing but instead you wrote about writing about writing. Meta-five.

    These sorts of posts are always lingering on the edge of personality revealing. If I were more empathetic I might have something constructive to say about that, but you’ll have to settle for the fact that I posted this despite not knowing you that well (It feels like I’ve come and written in your diary or something. But you left it out on the metaphorical table, so it’s your fault.)

    I find that writing is the least cumbersome way I currently know of getting the scenes and ideas in my head out where other people can appreciate them. The issue is it’s still fairly cumbersome. If I was really rich I’d make really long and expensive films which no-one would watch. Also, that’s still really cumbersome. I want people to just get it straight from my head.

    Comment by Ghurlag — August 22, 2011 @ 21:17

    • See I think the distinction between you and I is that getting it out where other people can appreciate them isn’t something I feel overly eager to do. I HATE PEOPLE. People are bothersome and often wrong. Also they have standards which worsens the cumbersominity of the writing process because not only do you have to communicate ideas clearly and with the emotive impact of a kick to the testicles but those ideas have to be worth expressing especially when as tends to be the case the idea is a “Story”.

      If there is one thing I hate more than a potential audience it’s a fucking story because they’re needy little bitches that demand a degree of originality, meaning and kickarsery. It’s like the future is now only when we’re genetically engineering our offspring to be disease free and have razor sharp teeth and a third (by which I mean sixth) nipple (I am going to be a terrible father) only rather than I as a parent having all the say as to what the baby will be like the baby has a list of it’s own demands because it wants to be president of the Lunar city states when it grows up so you have to design it to manage that feat. Only cheaper and without the need of scientists or dealing with troublesome ethical dilemas about manipulating the human gene sequence so that your genekin can rule as supermen.

      Comment by Schafe — August 22, 2011 @ 21:59

      • See, I think my problem may be that the reason I want to write is I want people to go “Wow, your ideas and their execution are so awesome.” Because I’m a slave to other people and lack a personality of my own. I mean, if there’s enough of them saying I’m awesome I might stop caring so much because I’m already there, y’know? But up until then it’s just a cycle of hate, slow improvement and periods of prolonged distraction where I get worse again.

        I posted an old story of mine on the Bolthole recently and re-read it as a consequence of this. I’ve realised that the shit I’m writing now is significantly worse by any metric you choose to pick in comparison to what I wrote a year ago. I’ve actually got worse over time. That sucks.

        Sorry for using the first three words in your reply as the first three words in my reply.

        Comment by Ghurlag — August 22, 2011 @ 22:23

  2. You will be sorry.

    I hate most of what I write anyways, it’s why only the really rambly written and published when I should be asleep stuff makes it to the blog, why nothing makes it to the bolthole and why I don’t manage to send that much stuff out anywhere to anyone in the way of professional submissions. I don’t think people saying I’m awesome will help the chances are them being people I won’t think much of their opinions anyways. As to writing worse, surely all value judgements are subjective and dependent on context. I’ve written some terrible terrible things (I did a comp on the bolthole from the PoV of a treeman which wasn’t written all that fantastically but I was experimenting so that’s OK) I’ve written some stuff I don’t think is totally bad. I think the “gradually getting better” nonsense is nonsense sure you can try and refine your writing and distill it into its purest most awesome form but I think there is also merit to throwing it all out onto the page/screen and seeing what works, what you’re writing right now might not be as technically good but what about the ideas your exploring and how your choosing to present it, trial and error has isn’t all bad.

    Of course I read so few things fanfiction wise it’s hard to be sure you don’t just suck badly, give me some links and I’ll try and have a gander over the next couple of days and get back to you (though I warn you I tend to rip most things to shreds though I do offer ideas as well as tatters of dreams)

    Comment by Schafe — August 22, 2011 @ 22:34

    • Well, you’re right – there’s probably good things about what I’m writing now. I’m not intending to come over here, into your bitching space, and fill it up with my own needling self-loathing about my writing. I mean, there’s a place for everything, right?

      On a similar note, I don’t feel right coming in here and getting you to come and read my stuff. You don’t owe me any reciprocal interest, I just browsed here randomly and found it drew me enough to bother typing a response.

      Comment by Ghurlag — August 22, 2011 @ 22:53

      • Meh don’t worry about it, I’m not in a bitching about my existence mood right now (currently half way through a “british politics is fucked” post). Also I do occassionally say stuff on the Bolthole about reading things and I’m happy to do so when poked and stirred into action, mostly I was offering because it’s hard to respond and continue the conversation without taking a gander and making judgements, maybe I’ll look up stuff of yours now anyways and make an effort to actually make a comment because my interest is peaked.

        Comment by Schafe — August 22, 2011 @ 23:00

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