I spend like 16 hours a day sat here looking at the internet and it's sort of like spending too much time in the pool - you start to get all wrinkly and sore. And when the water is wholly comprised of news about innocent people being murdered for idiot reasons, the sore is a lot more sore than usual.
I'm thinking about severely limiting my internet time. To both help me concentrate on writing, and to keep from reaching critical mass again. I'm learning that there's only so much news about mayhem and carnage I can take before my Superman complex overwhelms me and I just get so angry that people are endangering their children over such stupid shit.
So helplessly angry. All it would take is some common sense, a collective come-to-Jesus moment, and we could stop these weekly news flashes about 20, 30, 40, 50 people dead at a nightclub / school / mall / airport / Walmart / wherever. We could stop burying eight-year-olds and wives and best friends.
Being available on social media isn't helping me sell books anyway.
The engagement is there. It's nice being present and reachable as an author, and just yesterday I got a surprise FB message raving about my first book. But there's almost zero word of mouth going around. My plug posts get reshared a few times by those stalwart lot of you but it's mostly just shouting into the void; there's never a sales bump when I do them unless somebody with a lot of followers (10,000+) reshares them.
Since I can't publish anything new until my agent sells my current projects to a publisher, there's not really anything new for me to push anyway. I finished Malus 2 over the winter and I'm still waiting for the untenable glacier of publishing to slowly creep over me before I can do anything with it.
I'll always have access to my email; I have Gmail whitelisted in my net-blocker app. But as for FB and Twitter, I'm having a hard time listening to all the pain pouring in from every angle and repressing the urge to shout right along with them.
Seeing so many assholes saps my motivation. Makes it hard to justify creating things for people who are so goddamned selfish they hold their firearms in higher regard than the basic human right outlined in the Declaration of Independence, "the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
Well, it's hard to pursue happiness when you're dead from a rifle bullet to the chest. And it's too dark in a coffin to read a book. And it's hard to be happy when that's all you see, day after day, all day every day. Just weekday mayhem, and this all-singing, all-dancing chorus line of constitutional heroes that prize death over life.
Never mind that almost none of them have actually had to personally end a life, and have no idea what that moment is like. But many of them crave it. Too many fetishize it. There was a motto in my old Army MP unit ten years ago: "Make The Head Flop". This was usually accompanied by a casual finger-gun to the face and a whispered Pow!
Death, the ultimate trophy. Giving it, getting it, doesn't matter to those that embrace it.
You can try and justify all that death all you want, pulling statistics and news stories out of your ass, and it's still going to be death that you did not, and cannot, stop by yourself. Thousands of deaths that it's statistically impossible and realistically infeasible for "good guys with guns" to stop. Dozens of deaths every week. Every day.
There ain't enough 2nd Amendment to go around.
You aren't Superman, your untrained hillbilly uncle isn't Superman, your Veteran next-door neighbor isn't Superman, children sitting in class and elderly teachers and gay kids dancing at a nightclub who wouldn't know Sig Sauer from Jack Bauer sure as hell ain't Superman, and I'm not Superman either.
So I think I might have to plug my super-ears for a little while, or I'm going to lose my mind...because everybody's waiting for a Superman to save us from ourselves, and there ain't one.