On Change

*Taps keyboard*

“Is this thing on?”


Been a while. Eight months, actually. I made the above joke last time, too.

It’s tough to figure out what to say, even to an ambiguous, undefined audience, after an absence of so long. Almost like catching up with distant relatives you haven’t spoken to in eons, whom you barely remember. Where does one start?

I guess to pick up where I left off last. When last we left off, I was looking for a job.

I found one. I start in a few days. I am hopeful that the rigid structure of gainful employment provides me with some opportunity to return to some semblance of a schedule for this blog, and my other writings, which we’ll get to later. I am, however, also terrified of change. Most people are. In fact, if you look at world politics, the very dichotomy of modern political thought is the conflict of conservatism vs progressivism. Those words have literal meanings grounded in the context of being against and for change, respectively. And the very universe itself is an advocate for change; existence tends not to stagnate. But perhaps I’m getting a bit too existentially beyond myself.

The point is, I have long accepted that change and progress is inevitable, that that things change is the only constant about them. In a few days, my life is going to change completely. It’s rather daunting. Soon, at last, I’ll be working the 9-5 and sleeping on a schedule akin to that of ordinary human beings. Vastly different to my current way of life! I have no fear of this inherently. My fear arises from the impact this will have on my ability and time to write. Most of my most creative writing is done in the wee hours of the morning (2-6AM), though it is often rife with grammatical errors. This timeslot is untenable for a life on the job. I daydream constantly, and always have since I was a child; I am ever considering a dozen variations of my stories. But I only find the means to settle on the ones most creatively engaging at hours most inhuman.

This poses a grand problem, and one that I do not yet have a solution for.

Again, in theory a rigid, structural schedule may wind up helping my writing. But the fear arises from the unknown of whether that is true. Fear, as ever, is tantalizingly paralyzing. But we can’t let it get the better of us, lest we get nowhere. Lest we stagnate. Improvement and growth necessitates change, and the author’s tragedy is to grow into a better version of themselves with every word written—to look upon their past works and know that they could write them again, now, better than they are. A job, even one completely unrelated to writing, will undoubtedly have a hand in making me a better author, provided I find the time and mental wherewithal to keep with the hobby.

I find myself changing in other ways, too. I have often been reserved and not particularly talkative, even with close friends, let alone strangers. But today I went for a haircut and did the impossible—initiated and held a conversation of small talk with a hairdresser. I was aware, at the time, that such an action was unlike me. Now, here I sit in retrospective reflection, still bewildered by it. I discussed the existence of my autism in the previous blog entry eight months ago. I still possess some of the behavioral inclinations common to autism, but have found even those beginning to wane as of late. It’s bizarre, and in many regards impressive, how a willing mind is capable of course-correction. I do not think I will ever be ‘cured’ of my autism, but the effects it has had on me are demonstrably lessening with time.

I also find the subject of my writing to be changing. While I have not abandoned Crown of Thorns outright, I have not touched it in over a month. The very sentence I left its next story on lingers in the back of my mind. But at the forefront is a new story entirely, a change in theme, genre, and paradigm.

I have long been a fan of most things Warhammer (not unlike Henry Cavill). Recently, I got my father into scratching the surface of the setting by reading Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn series, which is widely regarded as (one of) the best ways of getting new readers into the universe. But as a dedicated fan of the universe, and as a self-defined author, Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn both does merely scratch that surface of the universe, and also suffers from a bit of narrative issues I am personally not satisfied with (the sort of stuff some weirdo on a train might chat your ear off about for your 40-minute ride and that you would subsequently forget about). I, therefore, decided to write my own Warhammer story for my father, to begin to push a little deeper into the universe without being too overwhelming.

And I wrote it fast. As in, the fastest bit of fiction I have ever written. As in, 78,000 words in a couple weeks—under a month. And it came out well, if I do say so myself—I’ve shared the story with a handful of not-Warhammer friends and all have enjoyed it thus far. I have, however, been hesitant to share it with true Warhammer nerds like myself, as some details may not be perfectly accurate to the setting. (If I could tell you which, I would have fixed them already.)

I have also already begun work on a sequel. While “only” a few chapters in, the outline for the sequel suggests the finished product would be well beyond 78,000 words. Possibly longer than my as-yet published works (which are around 110-120,000 words). And I have reasonable groundwork for another two sequels beyond that.

The problem, however, is that I can’t do anything with these stories. I don’t own the copyright to Warhammer and Games Workshop (GW), the overseas, British company that does own the copyright, is highly unlikely to bother with me much. For the record, GW does hire a variety of authors to write about their universe, with works published from the “Black Library” but the means through which they accept submissions involves them putting authors to a task about a specific subject they want something written, generally as a bit of ‘fluff’ (lore) for an upcoming physical product line. My tales, which are about a very specific thing, aren’t likely to see physical light of day until GW decides they want their subject matter, if ever that happens.

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying writing them all the same, and some around me are enjoying reading them. At some point, though, I do have to change back to writing some more Crown of Thorns.

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