Thursday 27th April 2017

I dream of a day…
I dream of a day when I can get more than five hours sleep before having to get up and ready for work.  I dream of an evening where upon coming back from town I have the energy to do more than just sit and procrastinate in front of video games.  I dream of the night when I realise I’m out of turkey burgers and don’t have to go out at 9pm at night to try and find them.
I imagine nights where I can chill with comics or youtube or World of Warcraft without a sliver of guilt.  I imagine the novel complete.
Yep, today has not been one of those days.  But it has been one of those days.
To be fair, I’m grumpy because I’m at that level of tired where I couldn’t do a 2 hour nap even if I wanted to (and I wanted to this evening).  As a result I’ve turned into a petulant teenager today where I hate everything around me.
The report I’m doing for the day job needs input from people who are away.  There’s not a lot I can do except try to look busy whilst doing some admin work and listening to audiobooks.  I was only in the office for half a day but that felt long enough.
I did get a nice compliment though.  I did worry that last night’s Swordfighting bored everyone.  The trouble with running not one but two tournaments is that I needed to put all my attention into judging and so some people were standing around rather than going off to fight each other.  I came away feeling bad that I might have inadvertently left people feeling that they’d been ignored.
However, the lovely Facebook comment I got today from one student brightened up my whole day.  She said how much fun it was and loads of my students liked her post, so it really did end up being the highlight of my day.
I’ve been think a lot today about my issues with the SFF community and came to a conclusion that surprised me.  You see, as I’ve said, if I’m honest with myself and others, and then someone comes along and says I’m a terrible person based on what I’ve actually said, meant or done then I don’t really have an issue with it.  I might regret it, but I don’t think I’d have too much of an issue being called out on it.
But I realised that the thing that’s really prevalent in the SFF community is people twisting things.  I read something about a popular author the other day, where the author of this prestigious blog made two massive assumptions as the backbone to their argument to take quote entirely out of context and argue that he was making a point he never made.
What do you do when someone accuses you of something that wasn’t what you said?  The SFF Community is filled with passive-aggressive introverts and I find it can be difficult to have a proper discussion with some of them because I just want to shout them down.
I realised today that a lot of my issues revolves around the fact that I still worry too much what people think of me.  This is a genuine surprise.  I’d thought I’d done a lot to address that insecurity, but I think it plays more into my hate of injustice than my confidence (or lack of).  I’m so incensed about this blogger who slated a writer.  There’s part of me that wants to get all passive aggressive and point where they’ve made a really shitty argument.  I want to scream at the fact that they’ve used so much victim terminology when speaking about minorities.  No wonder those alt-right bastards think the left are delicate snowflakes fit to be picked on.  It’s shitty journalism and it’s so fucking prevalent right now.
I’m passionate about social justice and I believe that people have a right to be heard (even when I don’t like the message), but I’m sick to death of the far left reinforcing far right stereotypes that minorities are weak.  It’s not helping!
I’ve always told myself that I believe what I believe , but there’s a fear that if I do speak out I’ll be mislabelled.  “If you’re not with us, you are the enemy”.  I just want to say ‘fuck you” at that point and that’s not helpful.
But my more serious point is that I realised that whilst I know I shouldn’t give a damn, recent events have shown I get wound up when people try and twist people’s views to portray them as something they’re not.  Part of me thinks I should be less polite with such people, but I know all that will do is re-enforce their misrepresentation of me.
For various reasons, but mainly for appearing an able-bodied, straight, white male, I’m going to get misrepresented in the future.  I don’t feel it’s my job to, for example, advertise my disability, because I don’t want it to be part of my identity.  I certainly don’t want to ignore it either, just not make it something that sits in my bio.  And if I then get misrepresented, doesn’t that then say something about the other person’s own prejudice?
But it will happen, and I know it will wind me up…  and that’s a problem!  I really need to find a way to care less, and I suspect that’s something to do with my own internal confidence.  Something to think about and work on in the weeks ahead.
My back is still playing up and it’s been decided that if it’s still bad after I get back from the US and Canada I’ll go to a physio.  I think, in all honesty, I just take a long time to heal from muscle strains.  It doesn’t feel any more than that but some days have been worse than others.  It’s stopping me doing a proper workout, which is making tired me even more grumpy.
Walking to Morrison’s to get my turkey burgers this evening gave me the perfect opportunity to put some headphones on and just think about the novel.  My work schedule is really not helping it at the moment.  The vast majority of my reluctance to write is from the fact that I’m tired, and I think there’s a real danger of falling out of alignment with it.  This is a crappy chapter I’m currently writing, so that’s always going to make me less connected to it, but I started my walk to the supermarket, just wishing the novel was over.
As I’ve mentioned a hundred times before, the secondary characters are a mess.  I came to the conclusion tonight that one character probably needs to swap her brother for another character.  I know I can fix them in the next draft, and that it probably feels a bigger job than it really is, but I’m currently asking myself how I can even go about tracking all the things this mess of a novel needs.
I know this is my tired head talking.  I pushed myself to get some writing done and managed 650 words before my brain just gave out.  Writing fiction always seems to take more mental energy than non-fiction.  My non-fiction just seems to suffer from missing words and jumbled sentences (which makes editing The Climb the next morning in a rush a real challenge).  But my fiction just lacks engagement, dialogue becomes monotonous and a drag, characters lose any semblance of agency.
As I said, I’m just tired and I’m glad that we have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up.  With any luck I can get some needed rest and get the novel much closer to completion.
I dream of the day.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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