I finished a book and actually published it which was probably crazy and then entered into this sort of unproductive rut. For the last six months, I’ve felt like I’ve used up all my words. Like I’ll never again be able to string sentences together, or communicate coherent thoughts. It’s actually felt like I stroked out a little bit.
I blame my publisher for this because they folded five days after my book came out so I had to spend two months trying to save the stupid thing and re-publish it myself without anyone noticing. Except, of course, they did notice, and I fucked everything up.
Drama! The last fucking thing you need when you’re trying to come down off the release of a book! An author should spend those months post-release finishing up their next book, drinking champagne, and having sex with underaged groupies. Right? Something like that. Me? I just wanted to marathon Space: 1999, not put on pants for 10 days, and drink Corona for some crazy reason. Maybe I was just craving limes…
Anyway, it’s been a wild few months. During that time, since my book is all about how awful my family is, I found myself caught in this weird self-reflection loop. Not the “oh my god, what have I done” failure death spiral. It’s actually been positive. It’s been: “oh my god, I can do better!” I don’t need to be working at the soulless day job I’ve been working at for 17 motherfucking years. I hate it there and I always have hated it there, from day one. But it’s an easy job with great benefits. I work maybe 20 minutes a day, I’ve never had a boss with a higher IQ than 70, I work at home two days a week, and there’s unlimited PTO that means I take weeks and weeks off every year.
There will never be another job like this one. So a part of me just wants to milk it. Go for that 20 year badge, 25 years…30… Die in the stairwell and be quickly forgotten.
My book didn’t sell well, thanks to the publisher debacle, but all of the other little projects in my life are doing well. Plus, all of my debts are paid off, or will be by the end of the year. It’s now financially possible to step away from the grind and try and become a master of my own destiny. Or…something. I don’t know. Probably just a stylish failure more than a master of destiny.
Working for a place you hate for 17 years, even if there is the option to get out of the office as much as possible, has started to just not sit right with me these last few months. I feel a physical revulsion on the few days I am in the office. When I exchange emails with my superiors there’s a sense of gritty disgust in my heart and soul. We’re all wasting such precious time on nonsense. Which is what every job is like, I suppose. But it just seems too much all of a sudden.
I can’t tell if this is a positive change or part of a general post-book emotional breakdown. Writing about my family and childhood forced me to put so many things in perspective that, perhaps, it sort of rebooted my brain. My life, for so long, was a life in stasis, a life in pain. A life unlived, really.
It’s taken a few months, but I’m using Greatsociety for its alleged original purpose and will get back in the writing cycle, and begin the long extraction from my idiotic day job, and enter 2018 with a new set of goals, an unsure financial position, a tenuous mastery of my destiny, and maybe a completed manuscript of a book that’s as far away from my family and reality as I can manage.
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