Generally I try not to make a big deal out of it, but the fact is I struggle with depression. There are other things I deal with into the bargain, but depression and a cartoonish self-image are probably the biggest ones.
On the blog, this manifests mostly in my not posting, and even missing the “easy” posts for long stretches of time. In terms of the writing career, well, I haven’t published anything for a couple of years at this point. That kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
And then my Christmas happened.
The summary version of which is that a friend of nearly ten years, someone I trusted, proved he had never been my friend by betraying my trust as completely as he possibly could have, showed that he did it with full knowledge and intent, and then spent an hour twisting the metaphorical knife in my gut.
And, of course, because this is the way the world works, he got the “reward” in the situation, to continue on happily, while I’ve been left with a month of pain, guilt, loneliness, and the inevitable self-recrimination despite having done not one thing to deserve what happened.
So, I’ve been just barely able to function and miserable pretty much since then.
Those, overly simplified, are the downs.
The ups are, potentially, excellent. I just need to get over myself, or at least find a way to turn off the bad feelings for a while and ignore them, in order to get from here to there.
Because it turns out I’m good at some things I didn’t realize I was good at.
I’ve been waiting for six months to pull the trigger on an independent editing business. Because a pro author friend (okay, fine, it was Sarah A. Hoyt) took my notes from reading a manuscript of hers, and said I was a very good structural editor (story structure, character arcs, pacing, that kind of thing — the most abstract level of editing). But, again, the depression makes the “making things happen” rough, so that website and the necessary back end business stuff haven’t happened. This week, they should begin to happen.
It also turns out that several writer friends think I have a good voice, and at least a few want me to record their work to sell as audiobooks on Audible. And while I’m doing that, I might as well toss in some free culture-licensed books and public domain pieces, too.
This particular new career has to wait on a quality microphone and making at least a tiny space acoustically decent for recording. Which means I need to get the editing going first.
Then there’s my own writing. I need to get on that. And Sarah’s goading me on that front as well, demanding I finish a novel a month, and smirking (when I bitch that I can’t do it) that even if I fail, that’s six new novels in a year.
We’ll see about that. (It’s not impossible: My “novels” directory in my writing folder has at least 27 different projects, and a few of those are for series, not single novels.)
The potential is that I can live entirely off all this indie work, and quickly. In fact, if I’m half as good as I’m being told, I should be downright middle class before the end of 2017.
So things are looking to hit an upswing. If I can manage not to sabotage myself.
What does this mean for blogging, though? Hell if I know.
I stumbled and crashed last year with Writing Music Mondays, and while I could take the last several months’ worth of albums I already had selected and use them to extend into this year, at this moment I don’t feel like I’m going to. I’m also not feeling like doing the exploring and listening necessary to keep finding new material for an album a week going forward.
It’s possible that this is simply due to what I’ve been through the past month, as one of the effects is that I’ve been listening purely to either “comfort food” music I already know well, or else going almost exclusively with MandoPop in an effort to cheer myself up to the level where I can at least function every day. Seeking out and taking chances on new obscurities just doesn’t feel possible at this point in time. And as I’m about to become very busy with (hopefully) paying work that will take up most of my attention, I don’t know if I can commit to consuming enough new material to be able to find something worthwhile every week.
Even if I do find time to do that, I’m leaning more toward putting that time toward resurrecting the Creative Uncommons podcast, and maybe turning that into a monthly thing, perhaps even getting it to pay for itself, if not actually a profitable concern.
That is up in the air for now, though.
Also, at least a few acquaintances have been poking me to blog my thoughts on various topics, and I’m starting to feel the urge to do that again.
One of the topics I want to think out loud about is the vaporous impermanence of social media as it is currently instantiated in Facebook and Twitter. Those platforms are set up, purposely, to isolate the users from their friends, filtering content so that you only see around ten percent of what your friends are saying, more or less. A blog, and more to the point an RSS feed, doesn’t do that to you. The filtering isn’t done by someone else, but by the end user, which is as it should be. Blogs also are relatively more permanent, and likely to be saved by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, while if you want to find a Facebook post from a week ago, good luck to you.
So, I’m working on turning my life around and for the better, and what that means for blogging is as yet undetermined. There will be blog posts in the near term future, both requested and simply things that I’ve been thinking about. But beyond that, no promises, as I might shift most of my attention to supporting my new professions.