It could simply be due to the nature of the economy, or perhaps the transition from my previous job to my current one, but I have to admit that over the last month or so I’ve experienced something of a heroic BSOD (that’s “Blue Screen of Death” for those unfamiliar with the acronym). It went unnoticed until recently when I’ve tried to get more original fiction written rather than recycling older things I’ve already completed. As much as I love Akuma and The Jovian Flight, the only way I’m going to prevail in a highly competitive market such as speculative fiction is if I do something original and do it better than anybody else.
I think part of the subtle test pattern that’s been droning in my subconscious is due to actually having work to do day in and day out. Being in a maintenance position for a web development company is like working the front desk at a Jiffy Lube – people bring in their vehicles (in the case of my employers, vehicles for marketing and sales) with what they think might be a terminal problem and it requires some billable hours to sort out the root of the problem, which is likely not as major as it seems. However, a tiny shard of glass lodged in a minute part of the body can still be cripplingly painful and needs to be removed. If you’re not a salesman – and I am in no way, shape, or form one of those – it can be difficult to both relate to a client’s needs and make your own known in a direct and honest way. There’s a reason doctors in a hospital tend to not talk about where the money’s coming from for a procedure. I know I’m drawing parallels between two very hands-on professions and one that doesn’t require dirt or blood under my nails, but it’s still a labor-intensive service industry.
While I don’t feel that I’m in over my head, and my co-workers give me a definite and welcome sense of being part of a family rather than a cog in a machine, the intensity of the labor tends to leave me feeling drained afterwards and it can be difficult to muster creative energy. My novel needs to be finished, and I know how I want it to proceed, but getting from where I am now to where I want to be in terms of the story can seem a daunting task after a long day at the office. Especially when it’s easier to fire up World of Warcraft to knock out some dailies or a dungeon, or cuddle with my wife in front of entertainment saved on our DVR or provided by Netflix – though I’m planning on leveraging the latter for creativity more in future posts.
I guess the point of this post is mostly to remind myself that my system’s in a state of rebooting and should soon be back to normal creative levels as it adjusts to the workload. It’s also material I feel capable of posting in lieu of anything comic book related, since tight finances have curbed my trips to the local comic book story indefinitely.
But I do have a few graphic novels I could review. Hmmm.
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