August 19th, 2019


optional for me means liability.

Juggling "normal" work and video games in between editing Chauvinistic Coquette and writing Anathema II is doable. But I decided that I don't need to waste the extra energy on things that are "extra" and not worth it in the end. So I cut back on some things: less time in Final Fantasy XIV, less time playing other games, more time writing.

In other news, Anathema II is going well. It's also going much differently than the first book did. With the first book, I more or less had control over the process. I didn't always know how things would go, but I had a stronger sense of belonging there. It's really the opposite here.

Aside from touching on existing canon topics/events, I have no control over this book. I know the major story beats to build up to, as I always do, and as I have always functioned as a writer. Beyond that, I'm letting myself go along for the ride. In recent years, I have only done this with Chauvinistic Coquette before. I didn't anticipate that one of these Anathema volumes would give me the same feeling, of being adrift, of this loss of control. It's even worse this time, I think, because of the contrast from the first book.

Accepting this fluidity, I feel that the chapters so far are highly subject to change. I didn't go back to change much of anything in the first book: everything was mostly set in stone once I wrote the first draft. The first chapter so far is beautiful, emotional. The second chapter so far is chaotic, emotional. Chaos and emotion again for the third, and beautiful emotion again for the fourth. There is order in the chaos, though, in that the chapters are obviously organized and readable. I suppose it's more about me letting go and allowing my intuition to write the story, instead of "me" doing it.

Going along with this process has opened me up to a lot of unwanted emotions, even outside of the story. I don't like feeling this way: feeling at all, even if it's anger and disgust with people who don't matter. But when I was numb and empty, I couldn't access the emotions I needed to write properly. So this is the residue.

It's all right to feel this way. I enjoy writing for myself, not caring whether or not other people read my work. I enjoy not caring -- except for this one thing. The one thing that no one can take away from me or compare to. Caring about anything or anyone else seems like a waste of energy, hence me cutting out these other activities out of my life.

I will always have this, and I will always have my home in FFXI. Optional for me means liability.