Yeah, well, I worry about fear itself, too

I substantially finished getting the textbooks ready for the students today. I came back from my vacation week and was appalled to see the mountain of cartons from publishers awaiting me in the bookstore. I immediately took it as probable that I wouldn’t get them all priced and shelved in time for the first day of class on Tuesday. Or that if I did, it would only be through coming in on the weekend to work on my own time. But it went fine. There are a couple loose ends–books ordered too late (mostly because the instructors dawdled), one set that came in today that I haven’t got a price statement on yet, but essentially the job’s cleaned up.

Why do I torture myself this way? Why do I always expect the worst?

That’s a rhetorical question. I know why I do it. I prefer constant depression to occasional disappointment. If I expected the best, I wouldn’t get what I hoped for a fair proportion of the time, and that would hurt. But if I expect the worst I can never be disappointed, and sometimes I’m wonderfully surprised. It means I walk around with a low-grade depression 99% of the time, but I’ve gotten used to that.

There’s the small business of joylessness being essentially the Sin of Sloth, but that’s something I try not to think about. Joylessness is an easy sin to ignore. It isn’t any fun, so how can it be bad?

Speaking of fear (I was sort of speaking about fear. Worry’s a form of fear), Andrew Klavan has posted on the Horror genre over at Libertas. Klavan doesn’t blog enough, but it’s a big day for me when he does.

One of the things I worry about is disappearing from view altogether as a novelist. If that happens, it will be some comfort if I can know that Andrew Klavan was a big success.

2 thoughts on “Yeah, well, I worry about fear itself, too”

  1. According to Klavan, ‘The exorcist was a crummy little film, and not scary.’ Well; it sure was scary for me… I wasn’t a horror fan, so maybe that explains it. I think the trouble with horror fans (and writers) is that they get jaded by seeing/reading too much of the stuff.

    – I came across an ‘old’ book recently called Night Visions 6. It had an interesting introduction by Dean Koontz about the horror genre, where he talked about some of the same things Klavan does.

    p.s. One of the stories in the volume was especially good; ‘The Face’ by F. Paul Wilson. (He writes the ‘thriller’ novels about ‘Repairman Jack.’)

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