Musings on lost time

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.

2 thoughts on “Musings on lost time”

  1. Ah Munchkin!! i so cant believe u think and feel like dat! ur such an amazing and talented guy! Never give up ok and dont compare urself so much with others evreyone has a different kismat and whats meant to be will be. As for pulling your finger out! ur one of the most hardworking guys i know, Damit! …u have a full time job then go on home to another job! I know ur not a religous guy but trust me God helps those who help themselves and babe trust urself ul make it big and when u do dont u dare forget me specy! Looks like im gonna have to knock some sense in ur head when i get bac to velcro city huh! Well if its worth anything im hooked to ur writting and love it as i’ve told u so many times b4!and will always be here for u, now stop being a dumbass and cheer up!

  2. Don’t sweat it. Most SF authors don’t “make” it until their mid to late 30s and my favourite writer, Raymond Chandler, started at 50.

    Just keep plugging and look both ways when crossing busy streets and you should be fine.

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