Ah yes, that plan to write regularly worked well.
I haven’t posted anything to this blog or written anything of note for a few months, and the reason for that is simple – I didn’t really feel like it. After 6-7 years where it was my job to write every day I’ve had a spell where, frankly, I felt no desire to write. There’s another reason, and that’s wondering whether there’s anything worth saying.
The answer to the latter is yes, there’s always something worth saying, but I’ve tended to check out of debates and arguments recently. The world makes enough of a noise on its own, and through the internet many millions shout their opinions daily in any case, often so loudly that they can’t hear the other side.
I’ve been doing something I typically like to do in any case, which is people watching. I’m always looking around when out and about, observing what people do, don’t do, and what they may want to do. It’s not because I’m some kind of enlightened individual, but because I’m always curious. With billions of people in the world there’ll be lots that behave similarly to each other, we’re a tribal species after all, so there’ll be billions of other people watchers as well. You can ‘watch’ people online too, a place where lots of rhyme and reason is lost; it’s still interesting.
I have quiet times, also, where for a spell I shrink into myself a little. Like billions of others I try to think about my own hopes and dreams, I dwell on difficult themes or feelings, or I try to make sense of the absurdities of the world.
I’ve seen people say the world is crazier than ever; I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s people’s instinct to think their time is more dramatic than what came before. I think the world has probably always been this batshit crazy, history proves that, but now some decide to magnify and amplify it online, through clickbait, social media, shouting into cameras, filming everything on their phone and in the process probably missing half of what happens. Mankind, peoplekind, humanity, whatever, has always been insane, now we just see more of it if we choose to.
I’ve also thought more on what I want to achieve. I’m learning that my ambition is typically linked to being able to cover my bills, and beyond that I want to be the sort of person that people trust, or feel they can work with. My current job satisfies that urge, as I work with generally lovely people trying to do the same – creating games that are very ‘Indie’, but big in honesty. Business realities matter of course, games need to sell, but my efforts to help that are in the hope that enough money is made for everyone to pay their bills. I’ll never be a rich man because I don’t have the talent or the ruthlessness; even if I did by some surprising turn of events earn lots of money, I’d keep enough to afford a decent life and try to find a meaningful use for the rest.
Because when people watching, or world watching as anyone with the internet and connected devices does, you can see lots of good and lots of bad. At times I marvel at the incredible talents of the human race, the acts of kindness, the gorgeous art and the potentially world changing technological discoveries. Then on the other side there’s the negatives – the selfishness, stupidity and dangerous parts of humanity. The balance between the positive and negative is rarely stable – it swings back and forth. Maybe we’re sitting a bit more on the negative right now, but given time it’ll swing back for a positive period. And then back again.
So we keep buggering on, I guess. I’ll keep working, enjoying downtime, having sunny optimistic days and more quiet, morose ones too. I’ll write when I want, keep working on my fiction that I may or may not share, keep reading, keep playing video games. Keep people watching, too, and getting out of my home to do so.
Because it’s no good being insulated, or viewing the world through screens and screaming tweets and Facebook statuses. At times the phone needs to go away and reality sink back in. Recently I went to a place called the Explorer’s Garden in Pitlochry, a town a little north of Perth in Scotland. You weave your way up and, at the top, it rewards you with a beautiful view. It’s a place that relies on volunteers to stay open, but is hugely valuable – it’s the sort of place that gives a lot, most of all a useful bit of context.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling.
Until next time.