Exit Strategy

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.

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in On Promotion, On Publishing, On Writing, Who I am and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Exit Strategy

  1. lala1966 says:

    e-books are so popular right now and everyone seems to be doing it. I think that back before e-books it was a lot harder and it hadn’t become such a fad. I wrote my e-book just to fulfill a dream of authoring an autobiography of my life for my own accomplishments sake. I sold very few, most read it while it was free. But, I can say that I did it and that will have to suffice. You have put a lot more effort In your writing than many people. It is just such a popular things to do right now that even great stories can get lost in the shuffle. I hope that you can feel a sense of accomplishment with your work and all that you have put into it. I thought I was going to revise my book and republish but as it turns out, I can’t stand to read it over again after having to read and go over it so much before lol. xx

  2. Dave Higgins says:

    Having stopped writing seriously for a chunk of years because I needed my energy for paid work, I understand your dilemma.

  3. Ack! No! No, no, no, no, no! Your book came out almost the same day as my first one – it’s way too early to give up! I am, however, very glad that you’re going to finish Cannibal Hearts. It’s very good, even better than Catskinner’s Book, and – I know you’ve heard this over and over – it just takes time.

    Put it all away for a bit, but definitely come back to writing!

  4. lly1205 says:

    Sorry to hear this, but I also hope that you’ll have a chance to come back to writing sometime!

    Lily

  5. L. Palmer says:

    It’s a tricky dilemma, and a hard decision. I hope you keep writing for enjoyment in your spare time – and I hope you have some spare time.

  6. > “I neither can nor want to be a salesman.”

    This is the dilemma that so many writers, even the most talented, are facing more and more in the current publishing era. I completely respect you doing what you need to do for you. That’s all any of us can do.

  7. fortyoneteen says:

    As a working and single Mum, I too share the dilemma of the all consuming job of writing. It is bloody hard – and bloody frustrating! But here be the thing – when I first started blogging I read sooo many blogs and yours was the first one that I honestly LOVED! And I read EVERY post all the way to the end…. sometimes more than once. I couldn’t believe the talent just sitting there, talent that I thought should be on some bestselling list.
    Yes, the market may be flooded, but is it flooded with talent? You have a voice that is different to others and it just needs to find it’s place.
    As a wise man once said… no pressure though!

  8. Tim Kubiak says:

    As a fan of your first book and your writing in general it’s very sad to see you quit writing. You tell a story like few others and had a very unique voice in your work. Best of luck and hope to see you reconsider or even just write for fun again sometime in the future.

  9. Pingback: Guest Posting Again | mishaburnett

  10. elroyjones says:

    Have a little unsolicited advice-
    Don’t stop writing, write only when you fell moved to do so and only when it is enjoyable for you. Don’t kill yourself with marketing Catskinner but maybe schedule a set amount of time you will work on promotion each week (for our purposes a week is 5 consecutive days with a two day break), something reasonable- 2 hours, spend that time in increments (all at once or spread over 5 days) that work for you then let it go until the following week.
    You don’t need to quit you need some respite time to rejuvenate.

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