An Egoist Faith

(Previously: "a laziness born out of resignation and despair, a sense that I've outlived myself, that my story and my world is over, and I'm just enjoying a reasonably comfortable afterlife in the time we have left ...")

People mostly don't do things. They really don't. In order to defy fate and do a thing, you need to Believe in what you're doing, because if you don't Believe, then your motivational system will direct your time and attention to something, anything else that it can Believe in more, like Super Auto Pets.

Thus, it's not possible for a writer to think something like, "I just want to be done with this stupid memoir of religious betrayal that no one should care about, in order to get the Whole Dumb Story out of my system so that I can be over it and move on with my afterlife and maybe work on something that matters instead." (Though someone who self-identifies as a writer can think that.) You can't write in order to be done. It might be possible to produce text under that motivation—though I don't think I've seen it happen myself—but that would only be language-model output, not writing.

If all you really wanted was to be done, you could just—decide to be done, without writing. Just walk away, and let everything left unsaid, remain unsaid. If that doesn't seem satisfactory, it's probably because of some deep, uncancellable conviction that the memoir is not stupid, that the religious leaders did betray you and their faith, that someone should care, that telling the Whole Dumb Story—telling it right, so that every graf sings and hits the exact notes of righteous fury and deconfusion and penetrating portraiture—is part of your life, and not a prerequisite to indulging the part that comes after.

Even if you have to grant, without hesitating, that there is an obvious sense in which these issues are not "important" in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't give you the obligation or even the option to work on something that matters instead. You could produce text that you identify as being "on" something that matters, but that's not work—it's predictably not going to be work that matters on something that matters, which can only be fueled by a power born of having Something to Protect. You can't realistically do work that matters out of resignation, during a reasonably comfortable afterlife after having been taken off the game board that really mattered to you, however "unimportant" it is to ulteriority or the Powers that be.

The only way out is through. If I am going to pivot to work on important things, it's going to be after I've stopped thinking that this is already my afterlife. Only after I've told my Story—not to get it over with, but because I Believe that it matters.

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