On Life and Love

What’s the bootstrapping process for this?

I’ve been spending a lot of time writing. Not here, obviously, but in a text editor whose contents only ever make it to my hard drive or a printer. I have a little editing circle with Gregory and Shun that meets weekly to trade chapters/units of our novels/screenplays for editing.

As I knew I would back in college, I’m finding life as a code monkey uninteresting. I didn’t have an interest in sitting in front of a computer hacking out code all day back then, and it’s not so great now that I’m doing it. I know it’s a stepping stone, but what do I have to look forward to in this field? Becoming a lead of bigger teams? Becoming a project manager?

Hmm. I could maybe stand being a project manager for a while.

I thought about going back to school and getting a Master’s or Ph.D. But I’d still be in a sub-optimal situation. I love teaching, but politics tends to make me wish I were still a violent sort.

Of course, the overall problem is that I let what I perceive to be chronic stupidity in people that dictate how I spend large quantities of my time really bother me.

That’s a rather bad trait to have when working in the real world.

Millions of people in the U.S. let other people (who are likely chronically stupid about something) dictate how they spend their time, with little real thought that they should try to get out of the situation. There are, after all, bills to pay and cats to feed.

Nonetheless, I’m looking for ways out. I’m writing with a purpose — to get practice writing for that length, to learn how I best work in an unstructured environment, to learn what tools and processes help me produce the best or fastest work, and maybe… just maybe… to get published.

It will take years for fiction writing to become a career. That’s okay. I can be patient, and I’ve got ideas for stories that will keep me occupied for quite a while.

I also have no doubt that stupidity — even chronic stupidity — exists and has wrapped its warm and comforting tendrils around the minds of plenty in the publishing industry. That’s okay as well. It’s probably ridiculous, but I want a new kind of stupid. I’m tired of going into work every morning and seeing again and again the “stupid” that I read about years ago in textbooks and journal articles.

The same stupid. It’s been done, it’s been written about, ways to fix it have been written about, and the people doing now don’t even realize they’re repeating history. It hurts my mind.

If my current work comes together the way I plan for it to — and I think it will — then I plan to seek out agents while I work on my second work in November. I won’t be holding my breath on this one; I consider it more of a practice novel, but a fun one to write, nonetheless.

I’ll probably still hold my breath anyway, of course.

Being a code monkey pays the bills, though, and while I’m looking at alternate sources for income — especially freelance writing/editing positions — I can’t just quit my day job. Bills and cats, like I said.

A lot of sci-fi writers get shorts published in various magazines and make a name for themselves that way before ever getting a novel under their belts. There are also plenty of other more journalistic or technical media in which I would enjoy writing.

I don’t have a game plan yet, obviously. I’m still coming up with that part, so advice and thoughts on that front are welcome.