There’s not a whole lot new going on this week, but one thing that is new is that I have begun work on the audio release of The Chasm and the Collision, and it’s proceeding swiftly. The book’s chapter lengths are generally shorter than my short stories, so the audio for chapter one of CatC is going to end up around forty minutes long. There will undoubtedly be significantly longer future chapters, but I don’t think any of them are as long as, for instance, Hole for a Heart or Ifowonco, so they’ll be coming out rather more rapidly than have my earlier audio tracks. Also, I’ve developed increasing skill at creating the audio, and that tends to lead to greater efficiency. Undoubtedly, I’ll continue to make mistakes, and hopefully I will continue to learn and improve over time. We shall see.
Unanimity continues to lengthen, though its progress has been slow this week, because my motivation, or my energy level, has been poor. This is explored in my most recent post in Iterations of Zero, which started out as a simple Facebook status, but which rapidly grew too long for efficient use of that venue. It deals with the problems, and the ongoing and inescapable danger, of suffering from dysthymia and major depression. I don’t know whether it’s of use to anyone or not. Fellow sufferers may at least get some reflective value from it, I’m not sure. Anyway, because of the problem discussed therein, I haven’t written as much this week on Unanimity as I tend to do when at my best.
This is where my ongoing, habitual commitment (which I’ve described here before) kicks in. Even on those mornings on which I don’t feel like doing much of anything—most mornings, when it comes down to it—I tell myself, “All right, you don’t have to write much, but at least write one page.” This is a reasonably non-daunting task, since I write very quickly once I get started, and it almost always leads me to write at least two pages, and sometimes more. It’s easier to keep working once I’ve forced myself to get started. In fact, it’s often hard to stop, because I don’t want to quit before I’ve reached a good pausing point, from which I’ll be able to pick up again next day, and I also want to complete whatever chain of narrative is prominent in my head that day.
A related ethic has led to the continued production of the aforementioned audio for CatC. I committed to recording at least some of it every day, and that led rapidly to the complete recording of the chapter. In fact, it only took two recording sessions. Now, I’m working on the editing, which, thanks to skills I’ve developed over time, is going more quickly than it would have in the past.
I’ve tacitly decided that I’m going to do my blog series, “My heroes have always been villains,” on a once-a-month basis, on the second Thursday of each month. If you’re looking forward to the next installment of that series, you now know when you can reliably expect it to come out; I tend to be rather compulsive about plans of that sort, barring events that make me unable to write at all. These are always possible for anyone, and are more possible for me, given the difficulties I describe in my IoZ post, “A daily game of roulette.” I wish I could be more optimistic about such things, but to be more optimistic about my optimism would require me to have a more optimistic starting point in the first place. Instead, my main proactive force, the thing that keeps me pushing forward, is simply a profound and often maddening (to other people, at least) stubbornness.
With that, I think we have enough for this week. I’ll almost certainly be posting my next audio file before the next regular blog post, and I’ll spread news of that on social media, so notification should be easy to get. My daily writing continues, as it ought to do (by definition), and the first draft of Unanimity will be finished before long—probably before the end of summer, though certainly not before its beginning.
I hope you all stay well, and try to improve every day, in at least small ways. If you happen to know someone who struggles with depression—and it’s not possible to have depression without a struggle—please reach out to them and show support. They are often entirely incapable of helping themselves, because the very part of their being which would do or even motivate that helping is what the illness debilitates. They may not feel that they’re worth saving, but if you do, then it’s going to be up to you to do it. It’s said to be difficult to provide psychotherapy for sociopaths because they don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with themselves. In depression, the problem is a little different: it can be difficult to help this disease’s victims because they often, quite literally, think that they do not deserve help, and that your time would be vastly better spent on other people and causes. You should judge for yourself.