Nathan Bransford, Author


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How are you doing?


There's a lot that I've been intending to blog about recently, things related to books, writing, and all the things that used to fill the pixels on these pages. But then I read the news or go on my social feeds, and writing seems like the last thing on anyone's mind.

And in a way, the things I want to write about feel so trivial in comparison to the news every day.

I'll get back to those other topics in the coming days and weeks, but for now, let's start here:

How are you doing?

Maybe you're feeling great about things, maybe you're angry, maybe you're terrified. But it seems like a good time to check in.

Art: Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee by Rembrandt






33 comments:

David said...

No longer unspeakably depressed. Just grimly resigned.

Janiss Garza said...

I am actually on the hunt to publish books by new Canadian authors, since I will be spending lots more time in Vancouver and possibly establishing Permanent Residency there. I guess that pretty much tells you how I am doing.

Mallory said...

Every day the news brings some fresh Hell, it feels like. It's damn difficult to focus any energy on making art when it feels like the whole world is catching fire, but that's when art matters most.

Rodger said...

What a question! The left blames the right, the right blames the left. Here we are bounded by our elected officials desires. This world has become such a fast paced, technological illusion of right and wrong. We indulge ourselves with on the spot information. Whether it is merited or inexact we want it instantly. That daily fight of right and wrong no longer consumes me. Only because I have come to realize that there is no right and wrong in the political world, only beliefs. What I believe in is working hard, supporting my family, and enjoying the experiences of life. That is why writing about the trivial things is so essential. It is what makes us, us. That is why today I can say I am great. Thank you!

abc said...

Not so great. I'm surprised I don't hives. And I'm eating too much candy. Thanks for asking, though! (This reminds me of some scenes from Paterson, which everyone should see because it is good!)

Oncatography said...

I'm hanging in there. Abiding, as the Dude would say. You summed it up nicely, and thank you for asking.

Anonymous said...

I'm exhausted by all the right-fighting. If I had any say in the matter, I'd be like, "Fine! Hillary can be president! Now go away. Go to your room and don't bother me for the rest of the night." Just. To. Make. It. Stop!!!!

JOHN T. SHEA said...

I'm still discombobulated by a politician who actually fulfills his campaign promises! Yikes!

JOHN T. SHEA said...

And I like your choice of Rembrandt, Nathan. Now might be a good time to start practicing walking on water.

hallililburn.blogspot.com said...

It's true I haven't written much. I've got 3 teenagers. My life is on the back burner. But I'm canadian and I have high hopes everything will turn out. The snow will melt and the kids will move out...

Lenora Good said...

How am I doing? I wish I knew. I'm still looking down at the grass, so that's goodness. Have had to take a break from social media--too much hate and anger there. Am getting stories ready to submit, and some poetry, and in a couple weeks I'll start going through comments on my latest novel, and then get it uploaded. So, if I ignore the news, the fact that tomorrow will be my 74th birthday, that the cat wants to sleep on my keyboard, and it's below freezing outside, I guess I'm doing OK. Whatever, I'm feeling, and that, my friend, beats the alternative, yes? ;-)

How are YOU doing?

Schmoozyschlepp said...

Sick, a bit scared, organising!

Linda Covella said...

I feel the same as you. Hard to concentrate on writing. Spending a lot of time reading the news, calling, volunteering, marching, etc. Resisting!

Terin Miller said...

I just finished a novel manuscript I've been working on for three years and three months.

Now, to shop it around in hopes of securing an agent as good as this guy Nathan Bransford used to be.

The only way to concentrate on writing is to do it--tune out the rest of the world, focus on the story or stories you're trying to convey, and have time to ruminate in the world you're creating rather than the one in which at present we live.

Or so is my theory.

I just left a company that employed me for nearly 25 years as a journalist. And suddenly have the time I always griped about wanting to focus on my fiction and work at my first love and passion, creative writing.

It has been both a blessing and a curse being out of the constant news cycle since leaving in mid-December. But my stress level has fallen considerably, I no longer awake with a start in the middle of the night out of concerns or dreams or a fear of getting up late to get to work.

The fear of not having a "day" job may return, but after 37 years in journalism, and pushing 60 in the next few years, as long as I have decent affordable health insurance, I am happier and likely at least mentally happier than I've almost ever been.

If the information inundating consumers of news is not even half-true, there is more value listening to the voices in your head than on your television or iPhone, in my humble opinion.

How are YOU doing, Nathan?

You might look into joining the Antique Typewriters group on Facebook. Lots of people with lots of beautiful old typewriters like the Corona Portable in your logo.

"When the cities are laid to waste, at least there are the mountains..."

Allbest,
T

Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado said...

How is anyone doing? I've tried screaming at the TV - crying - shaking my head back and forth like the toy doggie on the dashboard of my neighbor's car. I have tried drinking too much wine and eating a lot of ice cream. But none of the preceding has helped. The disbelief is wearing off, and I realize that the new order is firmly ensconced. Like you, most of what I like to write about seems trivial in the face of the orange peril. So I have put away my notes and am spending hours at my easel instead of the computer. I have faith that my painting will soothe me back into the humor I need for meaningful writing.

Chris Bailey said...

Spending a lot of creative energy on carefully worded letters of protest. Hoping our checks and balances hold, but not feeling too confident. Plugging away on a third draft. It's still important to write fiction, isn't it? Will the concept I was so excited about six months ago be something anybody would want to read in a year or two? Or will it be laughably innocent in the new dystopia? That's just a twist on the same old question, but it's a painful and frightening twist.

Chris Bailey said...

Spending a lot of creative energy on carefully worded letters of protest. Hoping our checks and balances hold, but not feeling too confident. Plugging away on a third draft. It's still important to write fiction, isn't it? Will the concept I was so excited about six months ago be something anybody would want to read in a year or two? Or will it be laughably innocent in the new dystopia? That's just a twist on the same old question, but it's a painful and frightening twist.

Carolyn McBride said...

A little less overwhelmed by the speed that the U.S.A is headed for the drain, but I think that's more because I'm less glued to the news. As much as we need to be aware of what's going on (even we Canadians), a body can only take so much. I'm trying to finish one manuscript and revise another, but it's tough some days.

Marilynn Byerly said...

Since you write for kids, you've probably never gotten a thank you note from a fan who read you book at the side of a dying family member and the fan told you that your book brought a bit of hope or strength during that time. Or a fan who was facing their own health crisis and found strength in the courage of your characters. Or someone who was feeling impossibly down but felt better after reading your book.

Well, I have so I know that what we do isn't useless, or nothing, or not worth the time or energy.

Some kid out there who is going through a miserable time is probably reading one of your books right now and feeling better.

So cut off the damn news and get back to writing.

Oldy said...

Well, it's a mixed bag.

As far as my writing goes, I published the first book of my current series last November, and it's moving along nicely, doing its job. I have an in-store release and signing coming up next month, which is pretty cool. The second book is coming along pretty well, the outline has firmed and I'm three chapters in to the first draft. One of the major themes of the second book is around refugees, so current events are definitely informing the work.

As far as everything else goes, I can't believe how much hate people hold in their hearts. How much us-and-theming is going on right now. How perfectly ordinary people can have so much hate for others who they've never met, and for the most part, never will.

But this too will pass.

Bill Ruesch said...

I'm praying for Calfornia. May their efforts to secede prove fruitful, and may Washington and Oregon join with them. I would sell my house in a heartbeat and move to the new nation of CalWashaGon.

sk figler said...

Writing (continuing to) is the best therapy, reaction, cave, etc., because it gets me out of this world and into one I can at least marginally control. Perhaps it's ostrich therapy, but when there's nothing you can do, it's a reasonable response. We can't even hope for impeachment because of the next two in line. In a sense we have ourselves to blame because we on the left don't vote proportionately at the same level to those on the right although we outnumber them. Classically, our best hope is the hubris, arrogance of those currently "in charge." One more thing: if you want to know how bad things are, look at "Cerberus," which is simultaneously the guardian of hell and a holding corporation heavily into everything from toothpaste to heavy weaponry. So, How'm I doing? Surviving, so far.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I want a do-over.
I'm mad, confused, pissed off and dismayed.
This can't be happening.
I cling to my latest project because fiction makes a whole lot more sense than what's real.
Oh BTW thanks for asking.

Andrea Rand said...

How am I doing? Happier & more productive when I'm off social media, though that's a bit of a quagmire when you're trying to make it as a writer. From many of these comments I think I am on a different side of the political spectrum than most people here, but I still feel the angst gripping our nation and our world. I guess I'll just keep praying, cherish the time I spend with my loved ones and hold on tight as we all figure out how to navigate this wild ride ...

Maureen said...

Nervous, anxious. Fighting the sense of being in the path of an overwhelming tide. Between the pleas to stay engaged in the resistance and the daily deluge of what's new in DC? I'm drowning.

Other Lisa said...

I've always been a political person so...this is the kind of thing I write about, which leaves me feeling both energized and terrified.

Bill Az said...

Depressed and finding it hard to concentrate.

Linda N.J. Szymanski said...

Hi Nathan, thanks for asking! I feel a little force-fed at this point without being able to chew thoroughly or swallow. I'd like things and presidential edicts to take a breather but I am happy to see action on the horizon- just want to make sure it's the right and proper action most of us would like to see. I feel like everyone has taken a "hive mentality " stance with demonstrations and angry mrtches and I can't get anyone to clarify the purpose of so much anger and angst. I think a great deal of our communal unrest is the result of what I now call FaceBorg mentality. Think about it, Trekies, it seems we have been assimilated!

I'm going to escape for a week to Akumal, Mexico and write, lay in the sun, enjoy my friend who resides there and my family and write more and eat great food! It's the only logical thing to do.

MET said...

I feel completely overwhelmed by grief, anger, frustration. I'm an ex-pat American living in the UK. I'm mad at Theresa May for kowtowing to a man who exemplifies Hannah Arendt's description, "banality of evil."

On Election Day, more than just my love of country died. I never dreamed we'd be in this reality and so last year, I wrote a book about Election Day 2020, in which my main character was running against a fictional Hillary Clinton. As of November, seven agents were reading fulls and considering it. But the book doesn't work (for obvious reasons) now. And so both my respect for country and professional dreams took a devastating hit.

I've been trying to write a new book ever since, but am finding it impossible to concentrate. My words don't seem equal to the times. I can't turn away from the Trumpian trainwreck. I flew back to America for the women's march on Washington, but I want to do so much more.

These are difficult days. I'm really struggling.

Cristen Bopp said...

I go in and out of feeling overwhelmed, sad, worried, resigned, and inspired. I occasionally feel angry. Lately, I've been feeling like a buddha squirrel and I just blogged about that. http://www.cristenbopp.com/blog/buddha-squirrel How are you feeling? Thanks for asking. :)

Linda N.J. Szymanski said...

It all could be so much worse- we could have been denied the right to vote- then think how mad and overwhelmed and angry you all would be!Let's just see how he does- and pray he does a good job for all of us... fingers crossed!

April Davila said...

Given everything that's happening, I feel it's even more important to keep writing, mostly for myself, but also because I believe it can be a real tool for change. Fiction creates empathy and discussion, right? But somehow that doesn't feel like enough in the wake of Exon's CEO becoming the international face of our country. Writing postcards might be more pro-active, but it feels like a drop in the bucket.


bluefoxcafe said...

I'm doing pretty good because I have a fun seasonal job (at a ski resort) that pays pretty well. Otherwise, the literary rejections come in as usual, but blogging has taken an upturn, because I participate every week in the Daily Post Photo Challenge. That keeps me going.

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