Sometimes I write just to figure things out.
I write about four hours a day. That's counting time spent on the blog, on the wiki, on things of my own interest, writing answers to emails and writing cover letters so that I can get myself a better job. Some days I write more than four hours; rarely are there days when I write less than one.
I never spend a day when I'm not on a computer. I get up in the morning and I sit at my computer and drink my coffee, watch the news and think of things to watch or read until I feel awake. If I'm feeling low, after that I'll play a game, unless of course I have to go out and give my time to someone else. If I'm feeling good, and I have the day free, I'll settle in to working around noon. After that, most days when I have the day, I don't stop until I go to bed.
I take breaks. I walk for an hour. I give my Tamara a massage or we sit and talk for an hour, or we make plans for much longer; but when those plans are done I sit right back here and go right back to work. Tamara loves me and she understands. She likes watching me work and she likes what I do.
I figure I've spent about 1,000 hours this year, this far, writing. I write more today than I did five years ago, or probably any time in my life. I'm clearer. I can think of more things to write about. My mind seems to be endlessly fertile. I get ideas all the time. More often than not, I'm get to working on something in exclusion of my ideas and they are lost to the wind. And I don't mind, because I know another idea will come.
These last seven or eight months, I've been seeing a counselor. I know, I know, I said in July I was going to stop talking about my private life and I'll keep to that as best I can. Just to cover some fundamental details, my father is in permanent care in a hospital for Alzheimers. He thinks he's in the year 2046 and that he's being watched by aliens. It is extraordinarily difficult to visit him. I'm living in a bad situation right now, not one I would choose to live in. I can't get a job that treats me with respect.
And I can't seem to write this damn book about Herzog and Ruchel, that I call the Fifth Man.
More than anything, I've been seeing the counselor about that. About why I can't write this book. We've talked our way all around it, in fifteen different ways, and it just doesn't seem to get anywhere. I haven't seen the counselor since the beginning of August and at that time, we agreed, it just isn't going anywhere. He suggested I should take a long break and think.
I've been thinking. Those sessions had some value. I would think about things and feel a release of stress and begin to work on the book. I took myself back to the beginning of it and worked through the 17 chapters to the present all over again, reworking the second draft, then felt ready to refinish the book by writing from chapter 17 to the end.
Then, nothing. Nothing. Ten weeks now. Nothing. I look at that notification on the blog and I want to tear it down, make it go away. My readers see that notification and wonder. I can't take it down. But it is eating the shit out of me and I don't know why I can't write this book. I can write and write and write about anything else, everything else, comfortably, peaceably, enjoying the process of writing, not feeling short of words or that I'm struggling, but not with this. Just not.
I've had these things happening lately. These frustrating, ego-wrecking things, not my fault, just shit going on around me I had a long time friend on the Internet go nuts on facebook a month ago, doing that thing a lot of us saw after Chancellorsville, comparing the racists against the liberals and treating them like two sides of the same coin, false equivalency ... and it hurt because he went straight to that aggressive place where he struck for the most hurtful arguments he could reach for; and I unfriended him and left it there, okay, happens, no big deal.
I got into the fight with an artist about an image I used for the monsters on the wiki, not a very good image, not really, but of course I took it down immediately; and then I gave an answer and got back this level of vitriol, unbelievable vitriol, from the artist's wife of all people, real 4chan stuff ... and I laughed and blocked the thing and didn't answer. And again, no big deal.
Then there was that thing with the Pathfinder wiki, which shouldn't challenge my sense of wellbeing; connor gave me a great response to that, saying that "Very little of it is home brew collaboration" ~ and that made me feel better, definitely better, so it really isn't a big deal, it isn't.
And yesterday a friend put my Wishes entry off the wiki onto a private DM site on facebook, which I applied for and got into, and ... oh gawd. Nearly 200 comments of people who clearly did not read the post (there was no impact on the viewer numbers), spewing the most toxic D&D crap imaginable, no one talking about anything I said because clearly no one went to the link, but immediately exploding into endless self-righteous bullshit about rules as written and I do this and I do that, and no one listening or seriously responding to anything that anyone else wrote, just there to write to see their own words in print. Awful. Really awful. Just the sort of thing that convinces me the community is broken, hopelessly broken, beyond broken. A lot of hateful, spoiled brats.
And no big deal. Nothing to do with me. But I've been looking at D&D today and wondering, where would I be if I had been interested in anything else? If I had a blog about real estate or economics or fishing, anything else. Where would I be? Because just now I am seeing this hateful bullshit on the net and trying to deal with having connected myself to this, this albatross, this painted ship on a painted ocean, writing four hours a day for the same 250 people, with no hope of ever reaching anyone else, ever bringing about any change, ever getting this damn bird off my fucking throat.
Where would I be? What if I just went and spent ten years writing about something else, to someone else, to adults, to people who can talk about their interest without having to hide their face in shame, without having to explain every time that yes, I'm actually designing a game, yes, I'm wasting my time, apparently, because I'm not writing a blog about Canadian politics or the aerial photography or theatre arts. What am I doing here? With this? What?
I'm so inaccessible, you know? So inaccessible. I can be calm and friendly and answer questions and give the best help I can, but I can't seem to get myself down to where I'm dumb enough to be popular. Even now, this, this strange thing I'm doing, this writing, where my hands are flying over the keyboard like I'm playing piano, and it feels like music to me ... this thing I'm doing ... it's more words than I'm supposed to write. I'm over a thousand words now and I've been writing for all of 25 minutes, just 25, no pauses, no breaks, the music just pouring out, pouring steady, stream of consciousness ... just trying to work out a thing that's been on me all day.
If I can't be popular, is there a way I could at least write about something people would, I don't know, be educated enough to read first before spewing an opinion. Not even original opinions, just the same bullshit opinions that have been spouted about wishes since the beginning of the game; the same stuff my 16 year old friends and I used to say, all the things about wishes that make them such a broken, awful, abusive, crippled part of the game. Jeez, if I were writing about water-filtration systems in Western Canada I could conceivably get the readership I have now in ten years and I wouldn't have to deal with people being infantilized swine when someone linked my blog or my wiki to another site. There might be a dim chance that someone in a university or connected with the government might think, "That Alexis, he's making some good points, he's done his research," instead of, "If a player of mine wished for a sandwich I'd find a way to fuck him."
Being this inaccessible, there's no chance that anything reputable would look at me twice. I'm just another one of them. Another freak. Another dick. One of them.
There's no future here. No future. I always wanted a future. That was the goal. That's what artists think. They think about the future, about having one.
The only damn future I have is in that damn book I can't write.
I shouldn't publish this. I shouldn't. It's too personal. People will take it personally. People won't get it, won't empathize, won't understand. I'm too inaccessible.
Too inaccessible for D&D, that's for sure.
Should not publish this.