Screaming into the Void

My first reaction upon hearing Theresa May is calling a snap election on the 8th of June is that the next couple of months is now going to be a barren field of low productivity. Elections interest me. Politics interest me. British politics, right now, is like a Kafkaesque story. Everything is so surreal and we’re utterly helpless in doing anything about it. Theresa May, a politician who wouldn’t know what a civil liberty is even if it had a full-spread in Vogue, is now Prime Minister. The country is making the biggest decision in a generation off the back of a solitary vote that was won by the slimmest of majorities. Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. A slightly sagging loaf of bread who doesn’t believe in marriage equality or dignity in dying is the leader of the Liberal Democrats (I’d still vote Lib Dem, though, which says something about Labour).

It’s a train wreck and it’s really hard to look away. And now the driver of the train has announced that… we’re going to… Okay, I can’t think of something interesting trains do that corresponds to an election.

Regardless, the election is going to happen. And I’m going to have to try really hard to not get distracted by it. I’m not the first person to notice this task. John Scalzi, the American Sci-Fi writer, noted that his productivity dipped during the US elections last year. We should all be interested in politics, but politics is a dangerous thing.

Which, in a roundabout way, will bring me to the inactivity on this blog.

It’s been nearly two month since I’ve finished my thesis; it’s also been nearly two months since I’ve last posted anything here. I haven’t been very productive, right? Well, in that time, I have written over 30,000 words of fiction, have finished ten short stories, and have just signed a contract to sell another story to a well-established fiction magazine. So, actually, I’m counting the last two months as a reasonable success! On the whole, I’d be rather writing (and reading) than blogging, for two reasons. First, I want to be a writer and not a blogger. That’s a pretty big point.

Secondly, though, politics has a strong gravitational pull on my brain. If I blogged more, I’m unflinchingly confident I’d end up writing screed upon screed about politics across the world. I don’t want to get caught into that trap. Politics is important, but I don’t want to scream into the void. Anyway, there are so many people out here writing about issues. There are more important voices than mine to be heard. I’m a liberal, centrist technocrat type of person. There are hundreds of me on the internet. Find other voices. Read the young black woman from London, hear her voice. Read the disillusioned coal miner from West Virginia, understand his pain.

So where does all that leave this blog? Surprisingly, I think in a good place. Here are my recalibrations:

  • This is my writing base. I’m going to use this as a place to at least draw a bit of attention to myself as a writer. This is where I will link people to in my bios for publications, and where I will keep people up to date with new stories coming out.
  • I will at time, write blog posts on writing, books and magazines I’m reading, and maybe travel posts. But I’m putting myself under no obligation to do this with any sort of regularity. Writing fiction is my first target. That’s my focus.

So I guess, in many ways, this is now a website that is disguised as a blog. Maybe one day, if I ever warrant one, I’ll get a proper website. But for now, this will do. There’ll be the occasional update. But if you don’t hear anything from me? It’s because I’m busy writing.