Releasing The Beast…

I’m neither a hateful, nor an angry person (so say I), yet I’m coming to the conclusion that a good part of my engine, as a writer, has been designed to be fuelled by anger. Hate, naturally produces an abundance of anger (along with other by-products), yet around fifteen years ago, while still not hateful, I certainly had a super-abundance of anger.

What a word count I was capable of then. Mind you, most of it was shit, utter and complete. Indeed, a lot of it was insane. Alien.

But I ran out of bona fide anger a long time ago, and for years, certainly longer than I’ve been blogging, I’ve been having to work myself into a state – partially  in character as my earlier self –  just to fuel my writing.

Ultimately, I don’t think this worked. While in some sense I tried to cultivate this in my old Devils’ Advocate on Steroids (DAoS) posts, I consider these to be poorly-written failures. The faux-‘anger’, conspired to confuse the reader as to my intent, even when explicitly stated, and the effort involved in stoking the fires entailed a certain derailing of my ability to concentrate.

Further, it’s just stopped working. I find it much harder to adopt an angry stance now, and certainly not for the amount of time required to churn out a piece of work. Even on those occasions when I do get angry, I just can’t stay angry for long enough.

I make this all sound quite calculated. While there was some decision making in this direction, it’s more the case that this state of affairs was systematically perpetuated without effort or consideration. I’d go as far as saying it was a self-perpetuated cycle of literary self-harm; an implicit auto-bibliographical self-mutilation.

I comment now with the benefit of hindsight and anti-depressants.

On occasion though, lately, some things have come quickly and with lucidity. And importantly, with outrage.

I’ve still got outrage to run on. The downside of this, though, is that while I’ve got a lot of it, it doesn’t mix easily with sarcasm or any other form of wit I’m fond of. Outrage is so incredibly serious.

The trick is to get the right mix, and to get the words down in a timely fashion.

This is probably a good part of why I came to love the work of Christopher Hitchens, disagreements with many of his arguments not withstanding. Hitchens could juggle white-hot condemnation, with subtle-wit, at a frightening pace, while rarely misjudging a throw.

Sadly, literarily speaking, I’m no Christopher Hitchens, and my outrage at intellectual dishonesty, social injustices, self-centred, short-sighted apathy and more, waits to be properly unlocked. It’s more than just a little frustrating.

I suspect the key will have something to do with talking down to malicious fools in positions of relative power, all while making a point, and not getting too pretentious about it. Knowing this, and fully understanding it, though, are two different things, and I lack the latter faculty.

The chains are getting looser though, and my Inner Beast is hungry.

~ Bruce

Medicated #003

Yaaaaaaawwn…

I’m just a little weak at the moment. While I’m happy to report that last night saw the first night of sleep for a number of nights that could be called normal and healthy, the insomnia has taken a bit of a toll.

I’ll be recovering for a couple of days, I’d imagine.

It’s just a little odd for me, really. I’m more motivated that I’ve been in ages, and right throughout the day, but the body just isn’t willing to keep up. Usually it’s the drive that flags first.

That being said, I’m actually more on top of a lot of things than I usually am. In addition to the usual humdrum, I’ve got more ironing and whatnot done. My home is tidier than usual.

I’ve even got around to moving the furniture into a new configuration around the house – almost the way I want things to be in a writing environment.

When I’m not tired, it can feel a little like having a clear, burning sun, the perfect magnifying glass, but not knowing what to burn. I’ve got the energy and the focus, I’m just not accustomed to having it like this.

Readers read at their own risk – management takes no responsibility for accidental cauterization. Actually no, there’s no risk of that. I’m tired right now.

I’m getting no reading done, of course. Oh, my mind is alert, but if I sit down in a cosy spot to read I’ll start to nod off even as my thoughts race. I have to keep on my feet if I want to keep moving, and that of course, exhausts me even further. And reading and writing aren’t things that really get done in any of this.

Even after the issue of sleep is resolved, I suspect there will be a certain amount of decrepitude, physically speaking, to deal with. Gym will help with this, but I’m still not sure yet how large the gulf is between my ambitions and my physical capacity to deliver.

A whole new phase of rehabilitation is unfurling in front of me.

For now, I’m just going to try to get some sleep.

~ Bruce

Medicated #002

Worpwoggletreefish… teeeeee hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!

You were expecting something like that? No? Good!

A few days ago I managed the first night of unbroken, eight hour sleep, in a long time. Now however, as I’ve reached the maximum dose of my medication, insomnia has returned. I expect it to abate again, eventually, as it’s done in every graduation.

Then that should be it for insomnia; no more increments in dosage pending, I should level out, side-effects-wise.

It’s the lack of sleep that’s kept me away from writing, if nothing else. I gave myself time for eight hours last night, but could only manage five, again for the second night in a row.

At any rate, there’s been some speculation through the backchannels, some inquiry into wellbeing, on account of my being a little quiet online and whatnot. No, I’m not dead, nor has the Flying Spaghetti Monster revealed His noodly appendage to me.

I’m still doing fine. There’s no doomsday in sight. You may recall that I entered into this at an unprecedented elevation of mood.

None of the scarier side effects have occurred; suicidal thoughts (I’ve never had those in my life); heart palpitations; spasms; nausea.

I’m just a little tired is all. You can all relax. Maybe I’ll sleep better knowing you’re chilled out.

If and when the upside of getting my sleep back coincides with better motivation, over the next couple of weeks before the benefits plateau, I’m contemplating having a little toy around with Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled. (Yes, I thought ‘oh dear!’, in Fry’s voice when I read the title).

Perhaps I’ll churn out a poem or two in an altered frame of mind.

Until then, poo-tee-weet?

~ Bruce