Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bad Blogger, No Donut!

So apparently I got quoted in the Manchester Guardian last Saturday in its web round-up feature for my off-the-cuff philosophizing on the Lu Banglie case and press freedom and rule of law and the lack thereof in contemporary China, etc. Which is really flattering, and also guilt-inducing, because I've hardly blogged a thing since then. That's the problem with starting a blog. I feel a certain obligation to keep it going, and when I don't, I feel lame.

It's not like there aren't plenty of great China stories out there that I'd like to talk about, not to mention the coming implosion of the Bush Regime (and anybody who says schadenfreude is inappropriate or misguided under these circumstances is either a Republican front or just plain stupid. I'm popping the popcorn, personally). But I've had a helluva time just getting up in the morning, lately. I mean, even if the entire Administration ends up in handcuffs, is that going to be enough to halt this country's headlong dive over the cliff, into the dustbin of history where other dead Empires reside? I'm really not sure.

More to the point, am I ever gonna get this latest effin' novel finished? After years of being able to crank out pages of whatever it was I needed to write by whenever I had to have it done, I find myself in the unfamiliar position of feeling like my keyboard's been submerged in molasses.

My saving grace - and also best procrastination device - has been this swell online novelists' group which I accidentally started a while back. I'm in the happy position of being able to read stuff and receive feedback from a couple of really talented writers. The procrastination comes in because I'm finding it much easier to read other peoples' stuff and comment on it than to commit time to my own work.

Maybe it's just a phase. I think I got spoiled because for years I was able to just crank it out without too much angst, maybe because I'd gotten to a certain place creatively and emotionally, and I stayed there for a while.

Now I feel like I've poked my head up into an unfamiliar landscape. Everything is harder to navigate. Where am I, anyway? How did I get here? You'd think I'd be pretty familiar with this sensation by now, as it's defined many major milestones in my life. Whoah, China? How'd THAT happen?

I started this blog because I was at a creative standstill and needed a place to write little pieces without a lot of self-censorship or huge time commitments. Now I'm trying to dig back into the larger projects that I've always used to define myself.

And then I get an effin' quote in the UK Guardian of my little thoughts about Big Issues, and I think, does this mean I have to post more? And be profound while I'm at it?

God, I hope not.

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