The tale of how I almost quit writing

At the risk of seeming like clickbait, there isn’t particularly much of a tale behind it. For about the last month and change, I’ve had a pervasive itch to drop everything and stop writing. To stop creating. Now, I can tell you, and other authors will too, that most of us do run into this at some point in our creative lives. I’m not special in this. There was a certain line I crossed where something crumbled in my heart, and I didn’t think I could handle one more rejection, one more disappointing attempt to drum up interest in my work, one more ad campaign fallen flat, one more baring of my heart and soul to another through my writing—to someone who ostensibly found it to be as much a treasure as I do.

Have I been rejected as many times as most authors? Probably not. Have I been skunked by as many deadend leads for publications and agents as others? Probably not. Have I literally done everything possible to at all times spread the word about After Terra and my other creations? No, though conversely I think there are scant few in the world who are capable of living and breathing their work to others around the clock without making people want to punch them in the face. Also, sometimes I am a lazy asshole who is too tired after work to even put two sentences together, especially any that don’t start with the word “fuck.”

I can now be candid about a few things too that are affecting my writing. Not that I couldn’t talk about them before, but I didn’t want to take so much as even a 1 percent chance of doing so and making my personal life any more difficult. Some of you readers know that I went to Ireland for a time, and a few of you also know I was involved with someone, and that involvement eventually led to marriage, which I found out the hard way is one of the worst institutions ever created by humankind. It’s also a giant scam. Anyway. That is finally over, and in the eyes of the law the legal binding I had with the other person was never valid to begin with and might as well have never happened officially. Thank Odinn for small miracles. The point of bringing up that nasty piece of business, is that the journey of living with that torment and then its aftermath took a toll on me, and it only follows that this carried over into my writing. I’ve lost a lot of faith in the human race, in the future, and yes, in myself. Everything that’s happened in the last year has forced me to examine who I really am, what I’m doing here, and why I bother getting out of bed every morning.

One of the most damning things to postulate has been that of legacy. A question was thrown at me regarding whether or not I am even fit, or more so, if I have a right to reproduce and pass part of me onto another generation, because of who I am and how I am wired. I’ve been forced to wonder whether or not I am some kind of monster who so happens to look like the rest of you. I have previously joked about my novels being my children, but then I took a more serious look at that line of thinking, and wondered if I was onto something deeper, if my literary works were meant to be my only true legacy left for the world whenever I am no more. At the end of the day, After Terra is all I have. Well, okay, fine, I have my health. After what I went through, I know who my true friends and family are and I am fortunate to have them in my life. And true, I wasn’t born in a part of the world where suffering in almost every way every day is your entire reality. I’m writing this while having coffee so that’s kind of another small miracle in itself. But does it mean I don’t have a right to feel like I let myself get backed up to a cliff, and that I feel like there is no way out, just because I didn’t draw the universe’s shortest straw?

Er, maybe the cliff analogy wasn’t totally brilliant. I ain’t exactly envisioning myself reenacting the ending of Thelma & Louise, here. But I do feel stuck, in a place where for the first time in years, writing and creating is not fulfilling me and providing the answers I seek. I still don’t even understand all of the questions. So, if you’ve stuck with me so far, I hope you’ll pardon my lack of productivity while I figure out this whole bloody “being human” thing and decipher what path my life should go on.


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