An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

An exasperated author

Becoming an author is hard. No one will ever tell you otherwise. The mental dedication that it takes to sit down and write a book is immense in itself, never mind what it takes to deal with rejection after rejection, constantly fighting the rolling rock that tries to crush you as you shove it up hill, just because you want to share something that you’ve created with the world.

Then there’s finding an agent and/or publisher who believes in your words. And, after all of that, when your book is on shelves, there might still be the silence that follows. 

I’ve jumped through the fiery hoops that have led to my books being published. I’ve attended signings, radio interviews and promoted on social media to the point of exhaustion. You know what, fellow authors? I’m tired.

Some of you may know that I live with depression and have done for quite some time. I like to think that, in spite of that, I have always worked hard to remain optimistic and continue to work damned hard on my writing career. Still, there are days like these when I wonder why I bother.

Five years, I’ve been published. Five years and I feel like I have wasted myself. I don’t want millions of readers, or movie offers, or ultimate fame. I just hope for a few people to smile when they reach The End, for my stories to touch a small number of people. But today I feel unheard, unseen, unread. Maybe I’m just no good. Maybe the visceral images in my head and my writing skills just don’t match up. Maybe I just don’t write anything interesting. That’s OK. Not everyone’s ideas are widely relevant. Maybe all those books that I’ve read and courses I’ve completed were of no use.

But, if that’s true, then why has no one told me? Surely some kind of author euthanasia is appropriate here. Put the old dog down and save him the pain.

I’m sorry for this wallowing post, friends. I just feel so tired of it all. What’s the point of writing the last Alan Shaw book? I know how it ends and no one else cares anyway. What’s the point of trying to say something about society with a new cyberpunk novel if no one hears the take? What am I doing, wasting my time, bleeding at a keyboard for those stacks of paper to lay mouldering? Why am I killing trees that could be sacrificed for literature that’s worth while?

All questions with one answer. Give up. Accept that my best wasn’t enough, but the attempt was made. Move on. Wipe the hard drive. Keep my stories in my own head where they belong. Some dreams need to remain dreams.
This author is tired. He has had enough of failure. I will always be proud that I tried, at least.
Thanks for reading.

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4 responses

  1. Don’t give up. You’ve written some *good* books. Hell, we *all* wonder if we’re “good enough”, and we all think about giving it up. I haven’t made a sale in months and it makes me wonder if I should just pack it in and paint pictures instead. But then I think about how much enjoyment I get from actually crafting a story, and getting it down, and that gets me going again. Take heart.

    And by the way, I’m reading Greaveburn. Again. 🙂

    October 29, 2016 at 1:08 am

    • It’s just me being an idiot. It all seems so pointless sometimes. But thanks for your kind words, Pete. I appreciate it.

      October 29, 2016 at 8:07 am

  2. OK, weird, just wrote a reply and it disappeared!

    Don’t you dare give up, you have so much talent, and you’re one of my mentors!
    Joanna Penn, self pb guru says you never get anywhere with the first two books, it has to be at least three.
    You are a writer – simple as – you write that’s what you do.
    You may need a break, or you may need to chuck your self into it. Nano style.

    Either way, make a plan (YES a Plan!) and tick things off it.
    You may need to change direction, or not, only you know what you need.
    You sound as though your creative well is running low, so you need to fill it up however that suits you then pick up your pen again and put your refreshed self on the page.

    Over 6000+ people follow you for a reason, don’t give up just yet, OK? Hugs (Eeeeww sorry!)

    November 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    • Don’t tell me how to live! 😜

      The well is never dry, that’s the problem. There are so many stories to tell. But you’re right about keeping going. I just had an existential blip. Sorry for the downer post 😊

      November 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm

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