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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I’ve been pondering this post for a long time. It’s not intended as a “woe is me” message, or fishing for support. Things are just changing in my perspective, and instead of doing what I think I’m supposed to be doing, I’m thinking about what will be the best thing for me personally and professionally going forward.

All my life, I wanted to write a book. It took me until my forties, but I finally did, when I released Make or Break in 2011. This was followed by my two zombie books, The Dead Survive and Fallback. In 2017, I received rights for Make or Break back from the original publisher, revised and added some material, and re-released it as Dead End Road. So, I’ve written three books, and though I had a release in 2017, I haven’t actually written an entire new book since 2015.

And I honestly don’t think I’ll be writing any more.

The first reason is practical. I’m the Managing Editor for Limitless Publishing, which is a full-time job in and of itself. I also edit for Limitless, as well as a select group of indie authors. My editing calendar is currently full into late summer. When I do write, it’s all or nothing. I am not one of those authors who can patch together an hour or two in the morning or late at night when everything else is put aside. When I’m in the writing zone, it’s 12-14 hours a day, and I can’t turn it off. I need a stretch of days when I don’t have other obligations, and that happens so rarely it makes the kind of focus I need to write nearly impossible.

And, to be blunt, I can make more from my managerial and editorial jobs in one month than I’ve probably ever made in royalties from all my books combined.

Which brings us to the second reason, which is emotional.

You put hundreds of hours into writing, revising, editing, proofing, releasing, promoting, marketing, and blood-sweat-and-tear-ing over a book, and even though you know it’s good–maybe better than much of what you read–it just never pays off, financially or psychologically. That’s simply how the publishing business is. You read things and think, “Wow…I can’t believe this is a bestseller!” It’s like that guy at open mic night who has an amazing voice and plays guitar like nobody you’ve ever heard, but he never progresses beyond playing local festivals, and still manages the furniture store in the strip mall off Exit 24.

It’s kind of exhausting. You do all the things you’re supposed to. You stay active on social media, you release more than one book, you buy ads and book blog tours, host events and contests…and spend more on the whole process than you earn. Ex. Haus. Ting. A lot of authors get through this because of emails and messages from fans, their enthusiastic support making a big difference. I don’t recall ever getting a message from a fan. Like, ever.

I have books in my head. But I don’t have the time or motivation to do much about it. Maybe I’ll write something again someday. Or maybe not. I’m busy helping other authors with their books and guiding new editors in the business. I have a hand in dozens of books every year, and that’s pretty satisfying. On a creative level, I also draw and crochet, making something out of basically nothing, and I really enjoy this.

But I think the writing I have done that I found most enjoyable, and which had the most reader support, was when I had my humor/lifestyle blog, Fermented Fur. It even won a national award for best regular blog. I like telling stories from my life and home that are humorous and entertaining. So I think I might resurrect the blog here. I have over 500 posts saved from the old Fermented Fur, so I could post some “best of” stories, as well as new material.

There’s no money in it, of course, but there’s no money in novels for the majority of authors anyway. I’ll stick to editing bestsellers instead of writing them. I’ll blog. I’ll have fun. And I’ll quit feeling guilty when I have a few hours of downtime between edits and email, pressuring myself that I should be writing, and ending up feeling shitty about the whole thing when all I want to do is zone out and crochet or watch Netflix.

Who said I had to write books? I did, in the beginning. And I did it, I’m very proud of my books, and nobody can take that accomplishment away from me. I also know that to be successful, an author needs to release new material regularly. “Regularly” doesn’t fit my life and other obligations, and the payoff simply isn’t there for me either financially or emotionally. But I like to edit, I like to blog, I like to draw and make things, and I like to hang out on the couch with the Direwolves.

       The Direwolves, AKA Mozzie and Oliver

I’m 53 years old, and I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. Why pressure myself to produce books, then feel guilty when I don’t? Life’s too damn short.

So, watch my personal Facebook page, and my author page (though I might actually delete the author page at some point), and hopefully in the next week or two I’ll set up Fermented Fur 2.0. I’ll post the link there, and I hope you’ll come by and see what’s going on in my life, in my house, and in my head. Fermented Fur had a pretty big following before, and maybe we can recreate that. I’ve thought about doing a collection of my dog posts, so  maybe I’ll do that too.

If you do stop by, please be sure to comment and message me, let me know what you think!

One Response to “Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes”

  1. Amy says:

    Damn. I hate that you’re not writing anymore, but I
    get it.

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