„The birth of the text is the death of the author“
– Roland Barthes,
unofficial mascot of this blog
Let it thus be clear that I do not claim to know any better than any reader what meaning my story has. I will therefore just comment on a few interesting tidbits about the process of it’s creation.
This story was very much an experiment, and as such, had some interesting results, which is why I’m writing these afterthoughts. The basic goal was to get over a common barrier of creative writing that I feel many people (including me) face, namely not publishing anything because it’s „not good enough“, and abandoning or not even starting writing projects because of that same fear. So when I got inspired by the excellent writing and atmosphere of „Sunless Sea“ (which would be one of my favourite games if it also had good game play… Sadly, it falls short in that regard), I decided to try to just publish (at least) one blog post every single day. To tie the form of the story into that structure, the idea of daily diary entries lent itself naturally. Diary entries are also a literary form that is not expected to be „high art“, so that structure helped justify to myself publishing very unpolished texts.
As a result, I have managed to eventually complete a short story, clocking in at about 5370 words distributed across 29 posts. It has not taken 29 days (as it should have per the self-imposed requirements), but about two months to finish (excluding this afterword). I learned that setting an ambitious publishing schedule and lowering expectation helps to get over the previously mentioned barrier. However, life often gets in the way of such schedules, and as soon as a deadline is missed, it is a slippery slope where suddenly weeks go by without a post. It’s also very hard to overcome creative dry spells, since the self inflicted pressure or guilt of missing one’s schedule further lessens creative productiveness. On the other hand, pressure should not be underestimated as a creative catalyst.
I have many ideas on how to improve upon some of these points, as well as create higher quality texts that are not limited to a format that lends itself so naturally to daily publishing. Alas, the first step to trying any of those (or even writing about them) is to start. Until that happens, Eulenzombie returns to it’s usual uneasy slumber with the occasional post popping up like a rather obnoxious recurring snore.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of those readers who have (out of niceness or sincerity) expressed their appreciation of this story. You may rest assured that I (the author) have never been subjected to recurring nightmares or cryptic messages appearing in diaries. Any similarities to me (the protagonist) are purely the result of lazy writing (characters that are more similar to yourself are easier to write, in case that wasn’t obvious).
interesting fun „facts“ about „The Iron Dream“, comment on this post with one (1) Roland Barthes related pun.*