I think the time has come for me to admit that it is simply not practical for me to try to be a writer on any large scale.
It comes down to economics, really. As I am the sole support of my household, writing full time is just not an option for me, nor is it likely to be in any foreseeable future. Writing is an exhausting and time-consuming hobby that I don’t enjoy.
I suppose I have an obligation to finish Cannibal Hearts, or at least publish what I have of it, since I have promised it to people. I doubt I’ll try to charge any money for it. Right now I can’t stand to look at the thing, but I can wrap it up somehow.
It doesn’t look like I’m going to get anywhere near enough interest in Fauxpocalypse to publish it as a collection. It has inspired a couple of excellent stories, and I feel good about that. I am sure that the authors will be able find other homes for their work.
I’m not just going to shut down this blog and sulk away. I have made plans to do a promotion for Catskinner at the end of the month, I’m going to follow through with that. I’ll probably keep blogging from time to time after that, I do enjoy writing in this forum.
But the whole “being a writer” thing–that’s not happening. I simply don’t have the energy or the time to handle two full time jobs. I feel like I have given it an honest try, but I’m spending too much of myself and getting too little back. The market is too crowded and the ones who succeed are going to be the ones with the time and resources to sell full time. I neither can nor want to be a salesman.
So I’ll be ramping things down. I’ll honor the obligations that I have made, I just won’t be making any new ones. I have enjoyed a lot of what I have been doing over the past nine months, but I want my life back. I want to be able to just enjoy my free time without this constant pressure to work on something that doesn’t and likely won’t ever pay me back.
I’ve been chewing this over for a long time. I’ve read a lot of what other writers have to say, the traditionally published and the self-published, and I’ve decided that writing is not a career that I’m suited for. I can’t put out six books a year, and I have neither the desire nor the ability to travel to conventions to sell them.
I’m not happy about this–facing facts is never easy and seldom fun. I am convinced, though, that I can’t spend any more time chasing a dream. It’s killing me.