My name is Irina Slav. That was easy enough. I write. That was also easy. Only writing can mean so many different things. I write for a living and I write for pleasure. No, make that not pleasure but necessity because these people in my head want to get out and there is nothing I can do to stop them. So, I write for a living (check out Oilprice in case you care about oil, gas, and all things energy) and I write out of necessity to free the stories that clutter my mind (check out Down with the Fallen and the upcoming Transcendent anthology).
When I was young, my dream–after I gave up the idea of becoming a therapist–was to be a journalist. Journalists are cool, right? They have these hectic-but-still-cool lifestyles, they travel, they talk to interesting people, etc. Dreams, I’ve noticed, have this way of coming true unexpectedly. I will most certainly not complain about that even though, of course, reality always falls short of the mental image.
I do find news and analysis writing cool. I don’t travel because there’s no need for that in the–sigh–digital world. I did receive an invitation to visit an Aramco refinery but declined it since Aramco is not the company I have in mind when I fantasize about visiting oil production facilities. It’s a quirk I have. I like the sight of pumpjacks and offshore platforms. It’s not a moral stance, you understand, but simple aesthetic joy. Suffice to say I’m more a fan of the North when it comes to platforms and pumpjacks. I do (rarely) get to talk to people you see on the news when I need a quote and I do meet (online) interesting ones as part of my job. Thank the internet. One dream come true, a dozen to come.
Why am I going on about news writing when this blog is clearly not the place I post news? (I have another blog for that but not the time to post regularly). Because writing about, well, writing, the other kind, is tough. I imagine it will always be tough because unlike news writing, this is very personal. It is very subjective. I am the only one I answer to when it comes to fiction writing. I am also the one to pick up the pieces when I fall apart because of a story rejection or just a general feeling of uselessness that descends upon me from time to time.
Writing is a lonely business. The support of friends and family is a wonderful thing to have and I have it but writing is a lonely business. I write speculative fiction and I have been lucky to have a vivid imagination that frequently supplies story ideas in the form of dreams. Getting these stories out is lonely, as lonely as dreaming. We always dream alone, don’t we?
I remember a teacher once told me my imagination works overtime and me feeling very proud of that but now I would disagree. It works irregular hours–not all of them fruitful –but once in a while my imagination produces a gem. Like that dream I had the other night about something called the Book of Life, with names and 1s and 0s next to each one. This image led to another, of a race of creatures called worldmakers whose job it is to monitor the Book of Life because… Well, that’s how far I’ve gotten so far.
Writing is lonely but it’s also the most fun one can have by themselves. That’s what Terry Pratchett said and he was, as usual, right. I would add reading to that. Reading and writing is the most fun I can have by myself. Only writing is better. Not because I’m a particularly skillful wordsmith, no. It’s better because of that sense of accomplishment that I get when a story is done. When it’s out and ready to be read. Nothing can compare to this.