Friday, November 27, 2009

The Social Vacuum


It’s been a busy November over at my side of the world with academics stealing a significant share of my time and energy, which I would have dutiful applied towards writing and keeping up my Internet presence. I have been struggling to write and here without much success, since my mind tires rather quickly, when I’m doing mentally unpleasant tasks and I count economy as such.

Apart from that I feel as if my mind has gone a bit stale due to the routine I’ve fallen prey to. The need to shake things up arises, but with whom do I shake things up with? All the writing and book buddies I talk to are in the busy zone as well and due to uncomfortable time zone differences I can’t communicate as often as I wish.

It’s this situation that leads my thought process on the social vacuum writers exist in. As far as I am concerned I can’t talk to anybody about what writing I do or what books rock. I tried doing that yesterday and the responses were 1) why am I not making money 2) the person I talked with stated that if he ever were to get serious with his scribbles he would run me over and 3) writing dark and macabre speculative fiction means that I have a myriad of emotional and psychological problems. All of this under five minutes conversation, which certainly was a buzz kill.

But I am an extreme example. I live in a small country with small population, which makes readers and writers scarce and those interested in what I am even scarcer and if you add that I write in a different language than my native, I am virtually an anomaly. I guess that the USA and UK on a purely statistical level increase the chances of two writers to meet, connect and feed each other’s imagination. But even this is rare to behold in society.

Yes, the vacuum is evil, which makes any contact with like-minded people invaluable time. It is why I love my Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 pm, when my university Book Club meets and I get to immerse in literary goodness. In this purely social sense I feel as if the universe has decided to sprinkle some happy dust for me. The club right about now is in its early stages and we sidetrack a lot from the agenda. We discuss themes, tropes, genres, fads in literature, lyrics, poetry, bestsellers, favorite genres and why we love them, we read our own work both in my native Bulgarian and in English.

Before the book club I had no desire to even read, because my brain felt drained completely, but the synergy I experienced with the individuals from my university completely recharged. It is after all my sole breach in this social vacuum and I would suggest that everybody with reading and writing interests find something small, unofficial, organic and flexible with its agenda and get the creative juices bubbling. Nothing beats sitting across somebody as creative as you are by nature and establish a real connection. The Internet is liberating in the chance to contact, but it’s only a crutch.

Now in order to stir some of your own creative waters I am posting this drawing I scavenged from the world wide web, since one of my passive hobbies is to scout and gather cool drawings that catch my eye for whatever reason. This one is called "Blood Summons" and is currently in perfect synergy with my first ever in English written novel "Forged in Blood", which I plan to revise come January 2010. Artist's technique is not a favourite of mine, but the image comes closest my ideas.