Failure

Since I last wrote anything for this site I’ve started a new job with a longer title than my last and with an incredibly diverse job description, gotten further involved in Leicester’s Hackspace (and now mostly wish I’d not), and failed to write a short story for an anthology with an extended deadline of today. I’ve spent a lot of time concentrating on work rather than writing. There have been a lot of long, stressful weeks where my lack of knowledge has been made apparent. And as a consequence, I’ve spent a large amount of my free-time diving hard and deep into the world of DevOps and managing baroque LAMP stacks.

It feels to me that since January a feeling of almost constant failure or near failure has bitten at my heels. The Hackspace isn’t the space I’d like it to be (Metalab) even though I’ve tried steering it that way. I found the sixty-five hour Hell Week was both a valuable & knackering learning experience. Of course that’s contributed to a general mood.

But being overloaded with work sometimes is vital and important for my future career. It is also a position I enjoy. Where else would I get to learn about NoSQL database administration and teach Python programming in the same week? But of course I’ve spent time at home studying to catch-up and my working week still isn’t easy. At the end of the week I’m usually exhausted and all that I feel about to do is sit in front my computer shooting Nazis.

And then there’s the failed story. It was intended to be submitted to an anthology of what I’d describe loosely as Venus-themed science fiction. I had a concept: Document the lives of people slightly off-camera in a Venus fly-by mission that could have happened in 1974. Look at their wives and families and how the mission would have affected them. I had a plan of execution. And even though I also had the two things mentioned above to juggle, I had enough time. However, my inclination towards procrastination and the troll sitting at the back of my brain shouting that, ‘You can’t write for shit,’ caught me out.

It really annoys me that I’ve failed to submit a story to this anthology. It’s a great idea for a collection and the brief was sufficiently wide enough that I hoped there was a chance of sneaking some quirky kitchen-sink stuff past the editor. There’s most of a story written in first draft, but it isn’t yet good enough, and it’s already gone through three iterations. Oh well. We learn from our failures, don’t we?

I hope so.

Tomorrow I’m at a comic creator’s meet-up. I intend to go to bed tonight thinking of ideas and throw them at other creators there. Hopefully something will stick and someone will throw an idea back to mutate my concept in an interesting way.

Peace & Love & Coffee,

Will

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