July 7 question - What would make you quit writing?
This question feels apt for me because I have been in a deep rut regarding my writing. I haven't really done much of it lately and I felt like it either. The motivation or desire just hasn't been there.
A slew of articles going around Twitter last month about how hard it is to make a living off writing didn't help. I read them and asked myself, "Why am I putting so much effort when I'm barely getting anything in return?"
I have felt like quitting.
I've considered it and asked myself what else would I like to do? I've been dabbling in book covers, redesigning my own and attempting to find people who'd like me to make them one. Then I got rehired by my old job and I put that aside because between working and my health, I didn't have the energy for a side hustle (or the day job really, so I'm kinda glad the owner was a dick and fired me while I was off recovering from surgery.) Hell, if you've read my post last IWSG, I didn't have the energy for anything.
(Side note on that. Some of you didn't seem to know I had surgery. The surgery has made it so I'm not in that sort of pain every month anymore, but I am having some complications that might mean the endo is growing back. I have an upcoming appointment with the doctor who did the surgery to discuss my options.)
After talking to my friend Tui, I was able to start pinpointing why I was feeling so down trodden: I was grappling with mourning lost time.
Being Human was published ten years ago. I've been doing this for ten years and all ten of those years I had worsening pain that made everything harder. I couldn't write like I wanted. I couldn't promote or market like I wanted. I couldn't network like I wanted. Friendships withered because I didn't have the energy to maintain them. (Being an anti-social introvert does not help.) I had massive insecurity about my marriage because I felt like a burden to my husband instead of a partner.
It's no wonder I had these massive bouts of depression.
Now (fingers crossed) I don't have to survive a life of ever growing pain and exhaustion. I can freaking live. That realization was like a sledgehammer of hope.
But I feel left behind. I'm at square one again, only now things are much harder than they were ten years ago. Things are more pay to play, and there's a ton more players on the field. I don't believe writers are in competition with each other, but we are jostling and elbowing each other because we know a reader's time and income is limited. It is a fight to get your books found.
I think my issue is I see others who started when I did and they are doing well. They didn't have the health issues I did hindering them. Or sometimes I will see someone who does have health issues and they seem to be managing just fine. Why did I struggle so much just to function as a human being? Why couldn't I just push through like they are?
And I realize those are silly questions. No one has a smooth journey and some are way more rocky than others. I don't see the really bad days, just like no one but my husband saw my really bad days. It's more a feeling of failure, like I could have done more. I worry I lost my chance at making anything work.
And that's not rational. (Then again feelings don't like to be logical.)
My friend Tui made a really good point in her reply to me. She said, "Your physical healing is just the beginning of your transformation right now."
Life threw a really huge and painful wrench at me. One that was not easy to overcome. But I freaking survived it. I can't fret about lost time or what I could have done differently. I did the best I could in a hard situation. I may be closer to the start again, but like I said above, I got my life back. I can live.
And I really want writing to be a part of that life.
BEFORE YOU HEAD OFF TO VISIT EVERYONE ELSE...
I am once again in search of help for a book release. Already? Yeah. It's kind of nice because I have a few completed books sitting around, so I can totally look like I'm super productive, when in reality, it took some time for me to get them ready. ^^;;