One of the perks of being a writer is that even a waste/recycling container can make your day. There I was, shivering in the cold winter morning with a garbage truck backing up on me (beep beep beep!), shoving newspapers into the recycling container and cursing at its inhumanely small slot. I noticed the container bore a familiar name:
Well, I’ll be damned. My old pal, Mr. Moloch! The ancient pagan deity statue to whom the Aboriginals sacrificed their newborn babies in the Eastern Islands*. I happen to know all about you, dude.
Because writing a book produces a heap of interesting information, AKA notes. You might think that people would like to dig into those stories… But just like it is with the news today where people don’t dig for the details, but rather fill in the gaps and take shortcuts. Lots of brilliant stuff need to be omitted. People live in a bubble where they choose the news and stories that sustain their bubble. They have the attention span of a squirrel and everybody is tuned to what’s-in-it-for-me? FM.
That’s our speedy, materialistic society in a nutshell. We are practically all Thelma and Louiseing ourselves off the cliff while navel-gazing and chasing the selfie of the year.
It’s a status symbol to be busy… and sloppy. Forcing propaganda down the throat is becoming increasingly easier. I could write a new history for Moloch with inviting logic, and not many would bother to check the facts. We just love to be entertained, no matter if we’re lied to. Thus, whether we admit it or not, our world is virtually in a state where only children can offer heart-to-heart discussions and slow us down.
The Modern Moloch is our materialistic society, especially its twisted sister expansion—the social media. On that altar, we sacrifice education, care, and wellbeing, only for the sake of productivity, superficial happiness, and skewed notion of success. All channels and arenas are prowled by self-motivated ninjas in slick suits and skirts. You feel like slapping their first ‘hello’ right off their smirking faces before they manage to promise you fortunes and fame in the style of AXE deodorant commercials: “Are u a loser in the game of love? DON’T worry. Spray the Death to Ozone in your hairy ass crack and we give you 110% guarantee that after that all the girls will know your name”.
Back to writing, and to the Holy Trinity of ME, MYSELF, and I.
Speaking of toxic shocks… you know you are a writer when you begin to suspect that your own search history could bring the police knocking down your door with a search warrant. I bet Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, didn’t need to worry about these things when she studied the effects of poisons and plotted creative methods for murder. Anyway, a writer can never let go of comparisonitis, self-doubt, and fear of failure. Even success doesn’t allow you the luxury of self-confidence and emotional stability. Check Agatha on Google and see how uncertain personality even she was.
One might think, for example, that creating characters is easy. It’s far away from rocket science, yes, but it still can be quite an emotional journey. In order to make your characters dance the tune of your whistle, you must do each one a little Freudian psychoanalysis. After spending fifty hours naming them over and over and making their character arcs and transformation seem a touch more realistic, your future finally looks bright and profitable. You feel like a KING! Next moment you find yourself in the sea of beer and tears, feeling you’re the biggest loser and the punching bag of the universe. And you wake up weeks later snorkeling among unpaid bills and eviction orders. And you wake up again from that nightmare … this time in front your computer, choking on your own saliva which has perfectly ruined your keyboard while you were asleep.
And you have made no progress.
And in the corner of your room, the mini trash moloch gets to eat the keyboard that now bears a fist-sized crater in the middle.
Writing is much like slaving your guts out, like in any workplace. Most of us write alongside a day job with nobody there to say thank you. We all see around you how leaders and CEOs are cutting their staff to the bone and getting rich on the backs of the broken. It takes quite an effort to stay positive these days and retain the capability to write. Being a positive change agent requires a constant, conscious choice over the superficial world that is build to satisfy our primal needs and instincts.
This why I’m selling my soul to the devil. I’ll spend time in the Moloch-furnace for limited 40 days, my countdown to New Year 2017. I’m editing my book and need a little kick in the butt, so I’m going wake up early in morning, insert that butt to the chair and write—and tweet a wisecrack (#youknowyouareawriter).
My goal is to get the job done. I’ll not update my progress every day, not in NaNoWhineMo style. Having a scheduled routine and promise to myself helps me to be present to my wife and kids and concentrate on what’s truly valuable in life.
After forty days I’ll continue from here.
*Actually, the massacre of innocence happened in ancient Israel. Somehow you were on the wrong continent and island…