I'm feeling nostalgic for my writing days so I'm re-reading Now Wait for Last Year by Philip K. Dick. Not really one of his best, but it's been so long since I've read it that I forgot the plot, so it's like having a brand new PKD book to read. That's the great thing about your favorite author being a hyper-prolific button masher on speed, it might take a good five or six years to cycle through their books (assuming you re-read something by them 3-4 times a year, and I do), and by the time you get around to the beginning of the cycle, it's all fresh to you. (The worst part about your favorite author being a hyper-prolific button masher on speed is having to suffer through sentences like "Virgil had become almost hermaphroditic, a blend of man and woman into one sexless, juiceless, and yet vital entity.")
Anyway, I figured it was high time to bring back a feature introduced on ye olde LiveJournal, Advice PKD!
Anyway, the book starts badly, but gets better. It's the story of a drug that induces time travel, multiple dictators, some or all of which may be robots, a failed marriage, Martian playgrounds for the immortal rich... somehow PKD manages to shoehorn a dozen plots into two hundred pages of book. Every time I read PKD (and to a lesser extent, Jonathan Lethem), I always feel a little bit of passion toward writing again, which is the reason I have a few of his books queued up: I want to write. But at this point I wonder if it's not sort of pointless, since I don't really care overly much about playing the publishing game. I want to be published, but I'm not willing to go through all the work involved, the politics that need to be played, the cons I must attend and the professional blog I have to do to be "real." Someone once told me that I was basically making a fool of myself by using my LJ as anything BUT a springboard to find an agent and the almighty Deal, and I'll be honest, that stuck with me for a long time.
It's not writer's block: if anything, I have too many ideas and find it hard to focus on just one. Rather, it is a form of self-preservation, of not wanting to be sucked back into the "writer's life" just because I write short stories. Because frankly, it can be boring and petty, and far too much work for something that will never return a living wage. I love the writing, I hate everything that goes along with it. And sometimes it feels like doing the writing is pointless if you aren't prepared to do everything else. But I do know that I was a lot happier when I was writing short stories on a regular basis, even factoring in the "other crap."
Sorry this post isn't very funny!