Sometimes I wonder if I exist in a middle space.
Humans definitely exist in a middle space. They are too large to appreciate anything really atomic, the very small and fundamental particles that drive our world. At the same time, though, we’re way, way too small to appreciate even the scope of how our planet behaves, which is why we get idiots saying that the weather here and the weather on Mars is basically identical. We exist in the middle between the useful extremes, and construct systems that let us grapple with those complicated edges, the places we can’t quite reach.
These middle-spaces are all around us. Consider video games like Super Smash Bros – bright and inviting, happy and fun for people to enjoy, but with a competitive scene that mandates the removal of everything that makes the game random (and therefore, saps much of what draws the first group to it). There are some people who like the competitive play, but like the addition of random elements – stuck in the middle space between those two game components.
Right now as a writer, I am clearly ahead of some of the people around me who are struggling to finish a story. People who talk to me about the challenges of just writing a chapter, about pulling the narrative into line, knowing where it’s going – these are concerns that writers have, but that are styming people at the gate. It’s hard, dealing with people in these situations, to give fruitful advice, because when I’m presented with those problems personally, I become very quiet, think about them, then do them.
This isn’t very good advice for anyone. This is like ‘I recommend winning,’ a practice that couldn’t be more fking useless. But on the other hand, the big problems – the problems like how do I put my work in front of audiences and how can I turn my work into money I don’t really know from experience at all. It means that instead of giving advice from personal experience, everything I do is referring to systems that let me grapple with complicated things that I can’t reach personally.
Stranger still is that I have support networks around me, constructions that are designed to help the marginalised, the lost, the voices so often condemned to silence… and which I feel is morally wrong for me to use, as I am, well, some white dude.