I’ve come to understand that writing wouldn’t exist for me without exploration. Miles on the trail, on the road, those are the fuel for my creativity.
But a life on the road is a taxing one. There comes a time after all those miles to stop and rest. You need to check your gear and replenish supplies before continuing onward.
Once a year we place our home on wheels into what I’ve taken to calling drydock. Each year the list of repairs gets longer. Nothing beyond routine wear and tear, but I keep taking on more and more of those responsibilities as I get familiar with our home and adding in a few upgrades as well.
I’ve mentioned before that with fulltime RV life you have to do as much as you can regarding regular maintenance and repair. Even if you have the money to burn, RV technicians aren’t always available in remote places, are often booked months in advance, and charge as much as two hundred dollars an hour.
Thanks to YouTube and the open scheduling of a writerly life, I’ve been able to take on more and more of those duties.
In the past week and a half, I’ve switched out all major interior fixtures and bulbs to LED, installed the first half of a 400 watt solar system, washed and waxed all 39 feet of this beast, and completed various other repairs.
Between that and stuffing my face at three different homes for both holiday and family celebrations, I’ve had little time for writing.
Since I last posted, we’ve made the drive from Lake Mead to Oklahoma. In Vegas, I attended the 20Books self publishing conference. I’ll have more on that in a separate post, but it gave me a lot to think about as far as the future direction of my writing goes.
2021 has been all about reflection. On society, on the industry, my own personal goals. Along with the RV life, I’ve also decided to start living the future now instead of dreaming about it in science fiction.
The solar install I mentioned is part of a push toward a democratization of all things. Renewables have been a political football for so long, their true potential has been obscured. Forget climate change (though this is of critical importance), we’re on the cusp of harvesting energy outside of the control of the traditional cartels and government monopolies.
As storage tech matures, we’ll enter an age of energy abundance with less of the extractive and exploitative consequences of reliance on fossil fuels. Distributed grids are the future, moving away from corporate bottlenecks and single points of failure.
Decentralization like this is the future. Not just in energy but in finance and agriculture and all major industries. There’s a great video out by RethinkX, a forward-thinking research group determined to help us navigate past the doom and gloom in our newsfeeds. I highly recommend taking the half-hour to watch.
I’ve also started managing a cryptocurrency portfolio focused on DeFi and the possibilities of a shared global metaverse. Staples of the science fiction of my youth now being realized in real-time.
Prediction of this future has moved so close to the lens, the autofocus motor has been sent into a spasmodic whir. I can catch brief glimpses, but the true trouble is then convincing publishers and readers to buy into these insights.
They’re strange ideas. Separated from the black and white reality being forced on us by the absolutism of the day. A world where nation states are obsolete and communities aren’t fractured down a single seam created by misinformation but are close-knit and woven neatly into a larger fabric.
To make money writing fiction, the worst thing to try and do is to be visionary. Better off churning out more of the same. The identifiable. The comforting. The bias confirming.
I’m not sure I know how to do that.
I’d love to be in a place where I was earning enough from writing to focus solely on the words. But with demand for RV techs and mechanics at all-time highs and prices for even common components being squeezed by supply issues, it’s much easier for me to “make money” by not spending it.
I’ve saved thousands of dollars in the last week and a half alone with a few more projects still on the list. I’ve had good months selling books and stories, but not enough to consistently cover those kinds of expenses.
So, until then, I’ll likely keep up this disappearing act around the holidays. An odd time where my house hibernates next to my boyhood home. The driver’s side window staring down into the kitchen like the eye of a great leviathan peering into the past…
Hmmm. There goes the muse again. A reminder we’ll be underway again soon enough.
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