At least once a year, considerably more during this past one, I want to quit writing. To destroy my books, to delete my hard drive, my back up, my notes, rewire my brain. This profession is exhausting, if you can call it a profession at all. There are too many of us in an industry that’s dying. Those of us that choose the road of indie publishing do it at a great price, rarely, if ever making any of our investment back, let alone a profit. It’s too much of a risk.
It’s too much of a fake high. The last period I typed at the end of my novel. The first time I held the printed book in my hand. The first words of praise I read in a review. The applause of the crowd I finally manage to gather at my third attempt at a reading. The last time I read, the strength of my voice, the power of my story. It takes days, months, for me to come down from this, and every time I do, I know I can’t do this anymore.
One more try, I say, ploughing through daily Facebook posts, boosts, ads. PR agencies that promise me reality in words I recognize, yet choose to inflate. I join groups, I talk to other authors, one sad story upon the next, and then, one of success. I snatch it, it helps me hold on to my dream. I turn to my bookshelf, packed with literary greatness, secretly shelve my book tightly in their midst; it helps to know that I have something to place there.
Last night, in bed, past midnight, I picked up my phone and typed myself a reminder: quit writing.
Today, I’m here alone. On a stool at my kitchen counter. Surrounded by toys, dirty dishes, and a world of ideas I could explore that have the promise of steering me down a more successful path. My computer stays open to a blank page for most of the day. I know that I’m good. But it’s nowhere near enough. I need to quit. Yet, here I am again.