Fundamentally, to be honest… I have no idea.
Until further notice: if anyone has any concrete suggestions for what I can do with myself, and it’s something I can just do, then there’s a better than 50% chance I’ll just do that.
I wrote the Spinoza thing partly cus I’d been toying with the idea for a while, but specifically on the prompting of a friend.
If it’s something I don’t understand how to just do, then you’ll have to hold my hand through it.
But as a general rule — I’ll basically do whatever I’m asked.
In the absence of any clear guidance from anyone else, I’ll continue muddling forward in the dark.
So here is, as it were, “”the plan””.
Step 1: Write ‘normal’ novel and apply to agents
I have been — intermittently, inefficiently, and through bouts of nauseous anxiety — been attempting to sell my existing novel manuscript to agents.
Because there’s so much empty time with the pandemic, and because I kind of lack faith that anyone will take it on, I thought I should also try to write a ‘normal’ novel — something approaching the kind of thing people supposedly buy and read.
I’ve finished outlining it, and it’s very similar to something Haruki Murakami would write.
So that’s my intention for the next month or so — try to send out a few applications, and complete a handwritten first draft.
That way, I’ll have two options to offer up for rejection.
Step 2: Start making videos; record a podcast with my friend Torben… and start actually engaging with social media
It has often been suggested to me that I record YouTube videos.
I have always been terrified of saying anything definitive — let alone saying it in my own voice, with my own face, laying myself bare to all the world and all of posterity.
But it appears that my fear of dying without having made the proper effort to at least try to reach people has started to outweigh my outmoded sense of shame.
So, starting in April or May, I plan to record little talks once a week, probably starting with Chinese philosophy.
Also, my friend Torben has suggested recording a podcast together. I am so touched to finally be approached by someone in the spirit of partnership and mutual cooperation that I’ll definitely, definitely do that.
Lastly… I’ll… sigh… I’ll try my best to actually be more active on Twitter and Reddit. Abstention from these spheres is not, apparently, a valid option.
Other projects I really want to do:
It has long been a desire of mine to write an autobiographical reflection on the events of my late twenties, which supposed something of a turning point in my life.
I think doing so would be personally therapeutic, allowing me to well and truly turn the page into a new phase.
It would also be good to get these things on paper before the memories fade beyond recognition.
Lastly — without having really done any promotion or marketing, my blog is currently being read mostly by friends and acquaintances. The events in question are things I’ve wanted to talk about with the people in my life, but have never quite found the 10 or 20 hours necessary to sit down and go through in person with anyone. It would be nice to share my experiences with someone.
Lastly — it would be honest writing. Which, I believe, is probably the highest standard one can strive to reach.
For all these reasons, it’s something I’d like to do… even if taking such great chunks out of the present in subservience to the past seems somewhat twisted.
Lastly… before the year is done…. I would really like to start writing a fantasy novel.
It’s something I’d wanted to do since I was a young child.
I think it’s what I’d have the most fun writing.
And I think my extensive readings into the history of world religions, and the depth of my personal engagement with their worldviews, would add a degree of substance which I have generally felt to be lacking in other works of escapist entertainment.
And, if all goes well… writing its sequels would be something I’d be happy to dedicate the bulk of the rest of my life to.
I still harbour some ambition to one day write a substantial work of philosophy… but I suspect this is probably what I’d be best at.
It is, essentially, an isekai novel — the “I was reborn into a fantasy world; let’s pursue my frustrated power fantasies!” genre which has been sweeping through the world of internet fiction and anime fandom.
Except, you know… this one’s inspired by the Lotus Sutra. Instead of getting a harem or beating a demon lord, the protagonist is gunning for Universal Enlightenment.
I would release it in serialized installments online — on Royal Road, most likely.
In addition to any of these major projects, I’ll still throw out the occasional blog post.
I have lots of ideas for big sequences of things — on, for example, Star Wars, various anime, and a grand presentation of Indian philosophy through the prism of the contemporary notion that the world is a computer simulation.
But… I dunno.
I… I just dunno.
If all this fails, and none of these projects is able to net me enough to make a living… in a year or two — if I’m still sound of mind and body — I’ll take out a week and apply for the best remunerated jobs I can find, and save up enough money to afford to take an official qualification in something — counselling or school teaching, probably — and just get a full-time job I find meaningful and be a loyal, tax-paying citizen (maybe scribbling a little bit here and there in spare moments).