mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Man is born to sorrow as the sparks fly upward

Now some people, I'm told, listen to Evanescence when they want to feel sorry for themselves, but my generation quotes the Old Testament, especially Job and Ecclesiastes, and occasionally even The Book of Common Prayer.
Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
Not only is the sound of the words a consolation just by itself (if you keep away from recent translations), when you google for the exact quote- and discover the authorities are divided on whether it's 'sorrow' or 'trouble'- you also find people making unusable teapots and charging $1400 for them while attributing the line to Homer. Needless to say, this is immensely cheering.

The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.


However, I *will* moan, try-and-stop-me.

I can't write. Or rather, I can write- with difficulty- but there's no point in writing because I don't like what I write. When neither process nor product gives any satisfaction, why bother?

Because I hate not-writing. I hate being a consumer, everything in, nothing out. It's such a television way of doing things: I sit and wait to be entertained and don't engage actively with what I'm reading /watching/ whatever. There's a reason TV depresses me, and the quality of the shows is only a small part of it.

The common writing wisdom is that you must write to write, but it hasn't worked at all this year. I try to console myself that the uninspired stuff I hated writing from '04 to '06 now reads very consolingly. I want more of it and can only have more by slogging through the uninspired stuff I churn out now. Maybe in time that dross metal will transmute to gold the way my '04 stories did. I just don't believe it will: if only because the stuff I wrote when I was properly inspired is so much better.

Another common wisdom thing is, if you don't like a story don't keep on with it in the vain hope that someone else will. I used to think that one was flat wrong, because the one story I didn't like myself, the one I only finished from stubbornness and still regarded as a failure, was the one everyone else loved and squeed over. In fact, as I only realized years later, common wisdom is right. I didn't like my story because it didn't have the ambiance of the source work; it seemed to be happening in another world entirely from the manga or the doujinshi. The reason everyone else liked it was /because/ it didn't recall a weird manga series: because it was realistic and congenial to western tastes: briefly, because it was slash, not yaoi. And slash depresses the hell out of me, earnest doleful horse-faced flat-footed woe-child that it is.

Dou shiyou? Had I but world enough and time I suppose I'd keep on slogging, just because there's nothing else to do. But I'm actually quite busy just now. I resent the time spent staring at the screen while beads of blood form on my forehead. I shall go read manga instead, and wish I had a story I wanted to write.
Tags: verse, writing-moan
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