Time is one of the bummers of being human. It’s a dimension we only experience in one linear fashion, and it moves too damn fast. Time can’t be bottled or saved up, more’s the pity.
Mac Tonnies (of Posthuman Blues), regular-visitor-and-general-good-buddy-of VCTB, pointed to this 1996 list of Bruce Sterling’s recommendations of seminal works in the cyberpunk field, and mentioned that he hadn’t read them all, a decade after they were collated. I’m appalled to have to admit that I’ve read very few of them indeed, and that a number of them are completely new names to me. I write book reviews for the UK’s premier science fiction magazine, FFS, and I don’t even know one of my favourite subgenres that well! (In my defense, I have stumbled across the ‘net ramblings of Rudy Rucker recently, and have requested his latest opus from my editor, should Tor send a copy over. And furthermore, I’ve read a fair bit of Stephenson and every William Gibson that I could get my hands on. But still; I suck. Meh.)
But, more to the point, a moment of introspection. Mac mentioned today that he’s a bit bothered by moving into his thirties. I’m not going to demean that – age is one of those things that we all get riled by one way or another. But as I said in a return comment, he’s about a year and a half older than me, yet he’s had a few books published and is a respected voice in his field of expertise. I, on the other hand, am a shabby library assistant who spent ten years of his life getting loaded and convincing himself he was some sort of counter-culture rebel and pseudo-artist. Who is the bigger loser here, eh? (Rhetorical question, BTW.)
Now, this isn’t some kind of sympathy trip, because I don’t need that crap. This is public catharsis; a venting of personal angst, if you will. This is me taking a moment to say ‘hey, dude, you wanna be a writer, maybe you better write some stuff, yeah?’
And you loyal readers get to listen in. Farewell, feedburner stats…
I’m nearly thirty years old. I decided I’d like to write science fiction stories in 1995, aged 18, when my (then) girlfriend lent me a copy of ‘Vurt’ by Jeff Noon, while I was staying at her house overnight. I stayed up the whole night to finish it, and was left with the sense that I wanted to touch people in the same way, to mainline into their minds and dump my ideas there. Over ten years later, and my only publishing credits are a few book reviews, a lot of music reviews and a bunch of blog posts.
I am a slack bastard. There is no-one to blame but myself.
I’ll not go into the details (read as ‘excuses’) for having not churned out quality (or even shoddy, or even *any*) fiction over the last decade. I’ve not done it because I’ve not tried; there’s always been an easier way of killing time, and I’m like electricity – I take the path of least resistance. But as excuses for not living your dream go, that’s the crappest one there could possibly be.
So, is this some sort of road-to-cyberDamascus-turning-point-thing you’re witnessing? I don’t know. It’s certainly a bubbling-forth of frustrations that have been bugging me for months now, and maybe going public (albeit to a very small audience) will be some sort of spur towards making more of a bloody effort. But then again, maybe not.
Ah, hell. This is what I get for typing blogposts drunk and maudlin on a Saturday night. If I had any strength of willpower and true drive to succeed, I’d be somewhere closer to my desired goals by now. Either that, or I’d be a miserable rejected SF hack writer. One or the other.
Gahh. Regular readers are invited to remonstrate and encourage me to pull my finger out – I remain firm in the belief that I am able to be more than a library assistant for the rest of my life. For now, at least.