This week I’ve been considering what I might talk about during my guest slot at Picocon. It’s likely to touch on the fact that the main way I make sense of this crazy mixed-up world is to write stories about it – not that I’m in any way claiming my fiction contains useful or original insights; if anyone does find one, please let me know. Given this, and in keeping with my current penchant for numbered bullet points, I thought I’d try and list just a few of the things that writing is better than:
1. Therapy. I put down never having needed therapy to a combination of lucky personal circumstances and undeservedly good health; however, I also think that being able to work some of the shit out through fiction can avoid it getting jammed up in places that require a skilled professional to flush clean.
2. Having a proper job. Compared to when I was in full time employment I’m working up to twice the hours for between half and a quarter of the pay … and yet I’m far happier. What’s that all about, eh? Perhaps it’s partly because I’m not …
3. Being hassled by the boss. OK, you do get hassled by your characters, but then you can take vengeance later when their guard is down, which brings me on to …
4. Unfulfilled megalomania. Writing allows you to indulge your desire to rule the world – or even universe – without the expense and inconvenience of setting up a secret underground base, recruiting all those minions, being thwarted by the ‘good guys’. And related to that …
5. Doing time. In fiction you get the chance to humiliate/injure/dismember those who cross you in the real world. The resulting stories might not be great literature but they can be very therapeutic and they beat a trip to court (see also (1) above). Do it on paper, kids, not in the shopping mall.
6. Housework. Except when trying to write first drafts* obviously. That’s when shelves get polished and carpets shampooed.
7. Becoming overly fond of money. I think this one’s self-explanatory.
The above list is both sketchy and subjective. Feel free to make your own suggestions, sensible or otherwise.
* Yes, since you ask, that is why you’re getting quite a long blog post today.