Monday, January 30, 2023

Let's Be Honest

Yesterday morning, when the house was quiet and I was keeping to the office to let Hubs sleep, I cracked open once of my unfinished books and started reading it.  Oh, it had a few first draft type problems, but all in all, it was pretty damn good.  

I had hoped that by reading through it, it would spark some kind of creative spark.  Okay, so I hoped for a bonfire, but I would've settled for a spark.  The only urge I felt, unfortunately, was the urge to edit.  And that wasn't even that strong.  No more of an urge than I get reading work I didn't write.  

It's been about ten months since I published my last book.  It's been over 6 months since I wrote anything creative.  From time to time, thinking about my writing has been a knife in my spleen.  Putting words onto paper had been my joy.  

I was going to say 'my passion', but I couldn't have been that passionate about it, if I gave it up.  I see other writers talking about the passion driving them to write more and be better, and how this has lead them to making enough money to live on (or at least to make their financial lives better).  

I don't think I've ever had that kind of passion about anything.  I love putting words down.  I love people reading those words.  I love having people pay me money for it.  But is it my passion?  :shrug:  Like I said, it couldn't been that passion-provoking, if I could give it up so easily.

Yeah, the choice to get a job instead of write was not the easiest in the world, but in retrospect, it wasn't that damn hard either.  If it was my passion, shouldn't it have been harder to give up?  But let's face facts - the writing was not making any money.  I made like $1350 that first year and every year afterward has been less.  My total sales figure since February of 2015 is just under $4K.  I can't even bear to think about how much money and time I spent to make that pittance.  I'm like $11K in the hole net.

Finally, enough was enough.  Continue to throw good money after bad, while Hubs works himself into an early grave to keep us from going bankrupt?  Or go get a damn job?  See, not that hard a choice after all.

Sure, somewhere in the back of my head, I thought I would work and write.  That was obviously a pipe dream.  My brain isn't wired like that, I guess.  I hit work and my left brain wrestled my right brain to the floor, pushed its face in the dirt, and shouted, "My turn, Bitch!" Shortly after which, ol' right brain crawled into a corner, whimpered for a while, and then slipped into a coma.  

I don't think I could write anything creative now if my life depended on it.  I write loads of stuff at work - mostly emails and letters.  No creativity involved.  Occasionally, I write marketing stuff and maybe put a little flair into that.  But that's rote stuff.  I could burp out marketing copy in my sleep.  Write such that characters come alive?  Not a chance in hell.  I was reading about Aryl and Lyra and the gang, and I know where their supposed to go and what they ought to be doing.  It should've been easy to start typing again, but I can't make the words come.  

Will I ever write again?  I have no clue.  I've never been very good at looking into the future.  For now, all I can say is that I can't write while I work, and I need to work for who knows how long...  Three years?  Five years?  Ten?  In nine years, I can take early social security (if there's any left by then).  Will anyone want to read what I write by then?  Will Aryl and Lyra wait?  Will Duke?  Will the SCIU gang and Dennis Haggarty even be relevant then?  Or will there be something new I can try my hand at, leaving all my unfinished books unfinished forever?  Time will tell.  

I'm such a stubborn cuss, I can't actually admit defeat here.  So, it's not goodbye to my stories.  It's just 'so long for now'.  And I'll still be here at the blog for anyone who still wants to come around.  


  1. This makes me sad, but I also understand. The reason I got out is that I was tired of beating my own drum. If I wrote for other blogs, or told stories about the story sales would rise. But release them without fanfare and they'd fall flat.

    There might come a time when I'll return to writing, but I won't shed any tears if I don't.

    PS Hope you're feeling better.

  2. This makes me sad too but I totally get where you are coming from. I've been lucky to be somewhat more successful but a lot of that had to do with timing. Lately? Yeah, not even gas money. Not that I've been particularly prolific the last couple of years. Sometimes, you just get tired. And that's okay. Sometimes, you just need to walk away. And that's okay too. Sometimes, you come back after a break. Sometimes you don't. What does it matter to anyone in the world but you? Because that's who matters. You. Me. Us, as individuals. As people. Not writers or artists or photographers or whatever creative thing floated our boats for awhile.

    Will I miss your new books? Oh hell yeah. Do I hope you'll come back to writing again and that I'll still be alive to read you? Oh double hell yeah. Do I care if you don't? Yes, but it is YOU that is important. So don't beat yourself up. Roll with flow, do whatever you want/need to do, live your life and be happy. Isn't that the ultimate goal for all of us? Live our lives and be happy. So that's my advice to you. Live your life and be happy. End of story. 🤗🤗🤗🤗

  3. I agree with both Silver and Maria. I lost the passion for my fiction years ago, and now I've lost the mojo to work on my nonfiction. I hope to rekindle them both -- or either of them, for that matter -- but I can't beat myself up over it.

    Just be sure to let us know when you start writing again, whether you're 62 or 75. I have always loved your stories, and look forward to reading new ones.