I have two projects that I haven’t been looking forward to working on, but carry on I must. The first is a fiction story that involves the death of a character and the second is the follow-up to “The Rules of Tech Support.”
The reason I haven’t been looking forward to working on those projects is that working on stories that hit a little too close to home or that are sad can have an effect on me. It may have happened before without my noticing it, but while working on a short story named “The Best Job In The World” for “Nine To Five Lives,” I noticed that I began feeling increasingly angsty at work. I was even more angry and bitter than usual and it wasn’t until I finished the first draft of the story that I got over it.
I talked to a psychologist friend about it after the fact. I asked him: if reading fiction affects people in some way, wouldn’t writing it have an effect on those that write it as well? He agreed, saying that something similar had happened to him when he was writing.
In all honesty, I think I am going to have a harder time writing the second tech support book. While I can easily disconnect myself from a fictional character, I live tech support forty hours a week, which means I can probably look forward to being full of piss and vinegar for the next few weeks. I could stop writing about work, but the insanity that the general public brings to the table is too rich of a vein of material to ignore. I guess I’m stuck!