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.