Time to hang it up?

March 9, 2017

This is one of those days where I keep asking myself, “What’s the point?”

For a very long time, I’ve loved writing. When I was a sophomore in high school, I started writing my own stories. My junior year, I made the decision to pursue a creative writing degree. I never looked back.

But let’s face it, there isn’t exactly a huge job market for that. Maybe I could have gone into television or comic books, but they’re not exactly markets you walk into. I’ve struggled at getting anyone’s attention, but it’s been very few and far between.

I’m 36 years old. In June, I’ll be 37. I’ve been actively pursuing the elusive published story for more than half of my life. Not much has come of it.

Sure, I’ve had a few stories accepted. Some even made money. $36 here or there, nothing to write home about. But it was a start, and it was acknowledgement.

It’s been too long since my last one. I’ve sent out a steady stream of short stories, flooding the market with them all at once. I get some very polite, well-written rejection letters that prove the editors have actually read the story. I’ve gotten some (most, actually) that tell me they took one look at my name and tossed it out right away.

Just a few weeks ago, I self-published my first novel. It was exciting! I put a lot of effort into it, especially considering I was 100% responsible for all of it. I’ve advertised in many different ways, begged “friends” to read and review, and spent countless hours promoting it.

I have sold exactly 1 copy.

You didn’t read that wrong. One. Uno. Solo. Ein. A, an, un, une. Okay, you get the point.

Don’t think I’m doing this just to make money. But how frustrating is it to have all those years of schooling, all those late nights of sending stories out, writing, editing, frying my eyeballs from staring at the screen too long, everything I’ve done…and I have one sale to show for it.

No reviews, no sample copies downloaded for free, no clicks on the ads, no likes on Facebook, no anything.

So why? Why should I continue? Why should I finish the short story I’ve been writing these past few days? Why finish the book I’m 3/4ths of the way through writing? Why edit the stack of stories I’ve been hanging onto?

I used to say it was because I love it. But lately, I don’t think I do. Lately, I don’t know what to think, other than to just give it up.

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Left ashore

May 28, 2016

Sometimes, you can’t win them all.

That’s a mantra I’m all too familiar with. Not only do I get rejections left and right (or not at all, as many publications apparently don’t bother responding to people…), it’s just something that happens in life. But this has to do with writing, and I truly feel like a gigantic loser.

I’ve talked about 7th Sea before, how it was my favorite RPG and still to this day gives me inspiration for stories and all that fun stuff. And hey, they’re coming out with a new version this year!

As part of the whole spectacular new release, they put out a call for writing samples from fans. We had two prompts and had to give it our best shot at writing them. Of course I did! Why wouldn’t I?

Well, I didn’t get in. Not even a consolation email, nothing.

I feel like I truly suck at writing. Given the current state of interest in my published stuff (like 9Tales that no one gives a shit about) and the lack of interest in my submissions, it might be time for me to pack it in.

All that stuff I was planning on self publishing this summer is probably not happening anymore. New stories, books, whatever I had in mind to write, not happening either.

This is what failure looks like, people. Go ahead and laugh. I suck.

And yes I’ll probably get over this, it just feels like a major slap in the face and I’m pissed about it.

Quittin’ time?

June 29, 2015

I used to pride myself in writing every day. If new words were not put on paper, writing was at least being worked on: editing, proofreading, and even submitting stories always felt like progress had been made. Lately, I’ve been trying, but can’t even bring myself to do much of that.

New ideas feel like they’re few and far between. I should say, for short stories they are. I’ve got a few, and I’ve even started writing them…but good luck finishing them, or even really wanting to follow through. I guess I get discouraged shortly into it, and wonder why I’m even bothering.

(As for longer ideas, like novels, I’ve got plenty of those. Due to certain circumstances, I’m pausing on that for now, but will start up real soon.)

But I’m getting discouraged with editing and submitting as well. I’m happy with my stories and ideas, but I feel like I need something to keep me moving. The good fight needs motivation, encouragement, and I’ve got none of those right now.

Last year, I wanted to get a story published (or at least accepted for publication) once a month. Totally doable, and totally plausible. It didn’t happen. This year has been worse. I’ve got a story coming up soon, but know when it was accepted? December 24th. Over six months ago. Since then…nothing.

One of the problems I’m noticing is that a lot of publications (not all, but many) are what I would call nonconventional. While the format is typical, the types of stories they want isn’t the “norm”. I have no problem with female characters, gay characters, disabled characters, racial characters, and whatnot. But should I start writing things like this just so I can get published?

I’m no stranger to writing about non-white, non cis-male characters. Do I need to make a fuss over what color the characters’ skin is just so I can get published, though? That stuff shouldn’t even matter—it’s the story that counts. Besides, someone once said since I’m a white male, I need to stick to what I know (even though I don’t agree with that).

While many of the publications out there don’t mind if your character is a white male, they’ve all rejected me. Surely, someone wants my writing, right?

Or maybe it just sucks.

That’s what I’m thinking. And I have a bad feeling that if I self-publish a few short stories, very few people will even care.

I know this should just be about the money, and it isn’t. However, this is what I want my job to be. I’m sick of retail, and I went to college to be a writer. You don’t go to college to be an accountant and then work for free because it’s just so much fun, do you? What it’s about is realizing that I suck.

I’m lacking confidence. I’m lacking faith in my own abilities. I’m lacking motivation, and more than anything, I’m lacking reasons to care.

Will anyone care if I just quit?