I start every year with these HUGE GRANDIOSE plans. I’m gonna finish X amount of books! (Usually an inhuman amount.) I plot out how many words I need to write a day! (Ungodly impossible amounts.) I set deadlines for each novel! (I mean, who can write and publish a novel every month if they’re NOT a full time writer?) Then I clap my hands together, laugh maniacally…
And don’t do shit.
Life – and my mental health – always have other plans beyond the goals I set. That’s how I’ve reached my 6th year as a published author and have yet to release a sequel for either of the books I published in the summer of 2011.
I’m only one person. One girl, diagnosed with severe clinical depression. One girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed in the morning because life feels too hard. One girl who runs out of energy working a day job and running a freelance formatting business and never has anything left for her own books.
I did it again this year. I even bought a calendar and mapped out my plan of attack. This year would be the year I began actually accomplishing things. I’d figure this writing career out. Find a way to make it lucrative, make it a real career!
Well, thwarted again. See, being employed part time at the day job in order to run my business and write was working great in the manner of time. I finished and published a book last year! Hurrah!
But money-wise? Not working. I maxed four credit cards buying food and gas, couldn’t pay medical bills from my gastro issues, and my husband’s car died and had to be replaced. By the end of the year, I was working a temporary second job and freaking out about how we would pay bills. We had lived too long outside our means, and the problem wasn’t my husband, who has a great full time job.
The problem was me.
So when a full time position opened at the library (and holy crap, I had some of the skills they desired!) I applied. In a dramatic turn of events, contrary to how nothing ever seems to go my way, I got the job.
Not only are our financial woes (future) history, but I really, really enjoy this job. It plays to the things I like, the things I’m good at – research, book news and info, graphic design, proofreading, brainstorming. I’m insecure AF, as usual, but I think I might actually work in this position. This might be the career I need.
But it’s my first time back to 40 hours a week in a long time. My time for CyberWitch work is severely limited. I’ve closed my business but for my longstanding clients – of whom I have quite a list, so they’ll still keep me hopping on the weekends.
Which means, yet again, my own writing will continue to suffer and be put off. It is what it is – keeping my marriage comfortable and secure is more important than my hobbies. My husband is my everything, so I have to make sure I’m doing my part to keep our life steady. Finances can wreck and ruin even the strongest relationships. So can cats, btw, but that’s another story.
I suppose ultimately, I’m just sorry. I’m sorry to the real, actual, existing fans I have out there who have waited so long for me to write more books. Those people who email and message me and comment on my blog and website. I’m sorry that I can’t seem to find a balance in my life that will support all the things I NEED with all the things I WANT.
I’m sorry to make plans to release long-awaited books, only for those dates to fly by with nary a word. That’s not fair to my fans. It’s also not fair to me to stress out over it all so much that I’ve ruined my mental and physical health.
I guess this is my public announcement that 2017 will NOT be my grand year as a writer. It sucks. I’ve thrown so much of myself, so much of my heart and energy, into the books I’ve released over the years. I had plans. Good plans. But like every other year, those plans won’t happen. In 2017, I have to focus on getting out of debt and figuring out a way to better our life. To do that, I can’t stress over writing. I can’t stress over the stories I haven’t told. I can’t cling to the idea that publishing can support me if I just hang in there long enough.
Five years is a long time to try to make something work without success. Now is a great time to be a writer – it’s not a great time to want to be a FULL TIME author. Thus, I adapt. I turn my focus to something I can enjoy that can actually support me. Because publishing books can’t do both, no matter how hard I try.
I’ll be writing here and there, slowly pecking away at that back log of books. Because I’m always – at heart – a writer. That’s what I do. That’s who I am. But I’m not rushing it anymore. I’m not stressing over it. I can’t afford to do that.
So I’m sorry to the fans who’ve stuck with me so long. I have to let you down to figure my life out.