East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

A brief ramble,like every summer


There is a moment, when you are working as a freelance writer, that’s terrible and scary. It comes regularly, usually in the summer, as August approaches.
The paid jobs dry up, and you catch yourself out of breath, metaphorically and literally, as you see money go and never come in, and overdue bills come to haunt you as letters or phone calls from the energy company or the phone company.
It’s a frantic moment, in which you find yourself juggling too many projects in the hopes that one, just one, will go down properly and get you enough to make the crossing of this desert, and bring you to the safety of Autumn. A safety you are not sure really exists.

Maybe I talked already about this state of affairs, in the past. As I said, it hits hard as August approaches, and you hear the Beatles in your head

See how they run.

It will get better.
I know it will because this is the third August I face, and still, here I am.
But it’s bad, really bad.
It’s anxiety and fear, amped up to eleven but at the same time not immediate, not close enough to wrestle it.
Add to that the torpid countryside in the heat, the desolation and the intellectual isolation of this backwater place where they can’t spell your name properly, and you get an idea of the horror.


And yet…

I never cease to marvel at the fact that writing was not meant to be my job.
My job is teaching, or doing environmental research, or designing renewable energy plants, or digging up fossils. Writing became my job because no other “proper” job was available.
I will not diss it. It paid for my bills and my vices so far, and nobody would bet a dime on my hopes of making it in May 2016.
I take writing like any other of my “proper” jobs: I worked on it, I studied to get better, I practiced, I try to have some kind of professional attitude.
Working ethics some call it.
My only competition is me.
I know that today I’ll have to be better than I was yesterday, and tomorrow I’ll have to be better than today.
I don’t care what other writers do, meaning I am interested in their work and their technique and their approach, and I’m more than happy to learn from them, but I am not going to say that the way I do it is right and everybody else’s way of doing it is wrong.
Each one of us is telling their stories in their own way.
That’s perfectly fine.
Unless maybe they are the sort of posers that write 6 words a day. That’s just silly.

I’m writing all of this ramble basically to explain why I have been absent from this blog recently, and the posting was erratic and lightweight.
It’s not that I moved to Patreon and we are having fun there and I left my regular readers in the lurch.
Granted, we are having lots of fun on Patreon, and you should certainly join us, but I am not leaving anyone behind if I can.

We’ll resume our regular schedule with meaty posts ASAP.
Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday, like Chrissie Hynde used to sing.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

3 thoughts on “A brief ramble,like every summer

  1. You’re doing your best and nobody can ask for more. Take a breath, brew a little tea and move on. 🙂


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